Vietnam War veterans attend unveiling of memorial in Rockville

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A Vietnam War veteran examines the new memorial in Rockville.  PHOTO BY SUZANNE POLLAKA Vietnam War veteran examines the new memorial in Rockville.           PHOTO BY SUZANNE POLLAK  ROCKVILLE — Several hundred people, many of whom wavered between saluting and wiping tears from their eyes, watched solemnly as Montgomery County’s Vietnam Veterans Memorial wall was unveiled Monday afternoon.

The wall, located on Memorial Plaza in Rockville, features the names of the 130 County residents who were killed or reported missing in action during the Vietnam War.

During the afternoon ceremony, each of the 130 names was read aloud, followed by one single strike on a bell.

Just like at the Vietnam War Memorial in Washington, D.C., relatives and friends will be able to see their loved ones’ names and make rubbings for mementos. Also like at the national memorial, several relatives placed bouquets of roses near their loved ones’ names.

“Every time I come over here, I’ll see and remember others who I served with who didn’t come back,” said Stan Seidel, who fought in Vietnam in 1968. He was one of many veterans attending the ceremony, who wore their hats, uniforms, and honors with pride.


A look back at history through clear glasses

17972 miscellaneous nuclear explosion explosionI am a child of the 1950's and 1960's and have also witnessed the challenges of the 1970's, 1980's, 1990's and where we are now in the 21st century. I experienced the Cold War first-hand and remember quite vividly practicing shelter drills in P.S. 213 by taking cover under my desk in case we were attacked with an atomic bomb. Even at that age I questioned the effectiveness of that particular strategy.
As a student in J.H.S. 166, I remember the anxiety of the nation during the Cuban Missile Crisis and the leadership provided by our young president in addressing the threat to our nation. I remember quite vividly, while in Brooklyn College, the feeling of panic when the student deferment was pulled during the height of the Vietnam War as well as the relief I felt when my lottery number was 272.


And these children that you spit on


MPI Protest-0382On Monday students at Blair and a handful of other nearby high schools marched peacefully through Montgomery County to protest the Presidential election – and some of the proposed appointments by President-Elect Donald Trump.
While no educator authorized the Blair students to leave a proposed demonstration on the school’s football field, no one put up serious opposition to the students when they decided to leave the school and meet up with others.
The County Police escorted the protesters, urging them to keep to the sidewalks. There were no arrests and only one incident of violence reported – someone threw a bottle with no injuries.
The event began trending nationally on social media websites as it coincided with other protests across the country.
Many of the comments were denigrating toward the high school kids – saying they should be suspended or kicked out of school. Some of the comments were sexist, misogynistic and racist. Some were dismissive. Few were supportive.
I laughed.
The students we interviewed at The Sentinel – and some of them are available online on our website and through Twitter and Facebook for all to see – were cogent, thoughtful and very mature – unlike the adults who dismissed the kids.
While the high school students could see shades of gray in the election – mostly bitter adults could only see things as black and white.
For a voter who grew up and came of age during the Vietnam War this is really hilarious.


County praises Vietnam vets

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151024 0000ROCKVILLE – Don’t blame the troops for doing their jobs.

If there’s any lesson from the Vietnam War that resonated among the Montgomery County veterans attending the “Honor and Gratitude” program for Saturday, it’s that past and present members of the military should be respected for their service, not frown upon.

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