The Charles B. Morris Memorial Chapter 710 of Vietnam Veterans of America honored those who died in service to the United States at the Carroll County Governmental Complex on Memorial Day. Following a short address by Frank Sayers, president of Chapter 710, a wreath was laid at the Vietnam Memorial outside the complex.
“We are here to honor our fallen heroes that gave the supreme sacrifice in Vietnam,” said Sayers.
Following a poem read by Sayers and a moment of silence “for the POWs, MIAs, and men and women who fought for our freedom,” the wreath was laid. Ruth Bennett and Linda Barnett then played “Taps,” as the few on hands stood at attention and saluted.
Outside of the members of the Vietnam Veterans of American, their families and the press, no one attended the ceremony. The day before at Monta Vista Memory Gardens in Galax only three people attended a similar ceremony.
“The first year we did real good, had guest speakers and a good turnout. We kept asking them back, but nobody had the time. It makes you question yourself,” said Sayers. “It takes a lot of time and hard work and expense to do this. The wreath cost $65. The guys at (Monta Vista) really helped us out. They put up over 700 flags, which we paid for.”
“It takes an event like 911 to bring (patriotism) to the forefront,” said Bill Edwards, vice president of the Vietnam Veterans of America.
“But after the dust settles, it’s forgotten,” added Sayers.
Also in attendance from the Vietnam Veterans of America were Kern Gravely and Ron Cummings.
Of the 12 men listed on the Vietnam Memorial, five are from Hillsville - Lonnie R. Bates, Joseph Bowman, Tommy B. Dickerson, Clifford Earnhardt and Richard T. Warner. Rounding out the roll call of those who gave their lives for their country are Richard Harrell and Harry L. Sumner of Fries, and E.G. Akers, Dickey L. Cooley, Richard Lundy, Donald L. Stoneman and Myron Williams of Galax.