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Veterans Day - Vietnam Monument

Veterans Day marks a day of celebration for America’s bravest men and women, it’s a day when Americans can show their appreciation for those who served in the Armed Forces. Throughout the years, the Texas State Cemetery has dedicated monuments to honor our veterans such as the Victory in Europe/Victory in Japan monument dedicated to Texas World War II veterans and the Purple Heart monument. One of our most treasured monuments is the Texas Vietnam Memorial, which was dedicated in April 2008.
The Vietnam Memorial at the Cemetery is special for several reasons, most importantly it honors a group of veterans who were not always welcomed home by fellow Americans. No matter the reason, Vietnam veterans were much maligned during and immediately after the war ended. Following years of neglect, it was important for Texas and the Cemetery to make a strong statement of support. In addition, this memorial honors not only the veterans and the men and women who lost their lives, but we pay tribute to the families who lost their loved ones during the Vietnam War. Sacrifices during times of war are made by many. Vietnam was no different.   
The dedication of the Vietnam Memorial at the Cemetery offered a unique opportunity to include a forgotten about group of veterans – nurses. We had the pleasure of having a former Army staff nurse, Lt. Col. Paula Quindlen, 27th Surgical Hospital, Chu Lai, South Vietnam, speak on her experiences during the Vietnam War. Following the ceremony, I remember speaking with her and to see the caring and love she had in her heart for all those young soldiers she treated and prayed for was truly a humbling experience. Additionally, Governor Rick Perry, Land Commissioner Jerry Patterson, Lt. General Jefferson Davis Howell, and former POW Ken Wallingford spoke of their memories of the Vietnam War. However, Lt. Col. Quindlen’s remarks and memories added another dimension to the dedication ceremony. 
Below is the text from the monument:
This monument is dedicated by Texans in honor of those men and women from Texas who served in the Armed Forces of the United States during the Vietnam War. To those who served in combat in Southeast Asia, this monument is especially dedicated to you. To those families who had had loved ones in military service during this time, thank you for your support and love for America. We will always remember and honor those who lost their lives during this time. To all of you, from a grateful nation and from your fellow Texans, we are eternally thankful for your service and dedication to the cause of freedom for all mankind.
Until recent years, with lessons learned from the Vietnam War-Era, Americans are paying attention and tribute once again to our veterans honoring them with parades, monuments, and other memorials. Recently, a group of dedicated Vietnam veterans along with the State of Texas announced plans and designs for a new memorial to be placed on the Capitol grounds. The significance is important to the healing process for many Vietnam veterans. The Vietnam Memorial at the Cemetery is not on the same scale as that of the Capitol monument, however, the goal is the same and remains the same: honor and commemorate Vietnam veterans and to let them know we recognize their sacrifice. Above all else, both monuments allow for spiritual healing. You can visit the Capitol Vietnam War Memorial at
Veterans Day is a great way to remind ourselves of the tremendous responsibility we have as Americans and Texans to recognize the sacrifice of the veterans and their families. All Texans can be grateful to all veterans for their service to protecting our freedoms. The Cemetery is proud to honor and give special thanks to our fellow Texans who dedicated their lives in defense of the United States. 

Jason Walker

The Texas State Cemetery will be open to the public from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Veterans Day.