Final Roll Call for Thirty Veterans
On Saturday, June 25, 2016, thirty unclaimed veterans received a dignified burial at Ft. Logan National Cemetery. The final roll call included ringing a bell after each name was read out loud. These veterans were finally honored, remembered, and laid to rest due to the efforts of many. This project has been a top priority for the Vietnam Veterans of America Chapter 1071. Without their dedication and tenacity, these unclaimed veterans would not have a name.
Future final roll call services are scheduled. According to spokesperson Bill Hilliard, “The VVA Chapter anticipates providing similar honors for many hundreds more over a period of several years.” Each veteran was encased in a beautiful wooden box. Bill Hilliard, “Urns have been lovingly hand-crafted by Colorado Woodworker’s Guild, Dog Tags have been faithfully recreated by Authentic US Military Dog Tags.” On each certificate it read:
“It is an honor and privilege to reunite our Brother-in-Arms with his fellow servicemen in Fort Logan National Cemetery. Though his immortal soul has been in God’s embrace for many years, we are dedicated to bringing his earthly remains to a proper and dignified resting place. It is not enough that we do our best; sometimes we have to do what’s required. Welcome Home Brother.”
The following poem was included on the written program: Bury Me With Soldiers by Msgr. Charles R. Fink, Sgt in the 199th Infantry Brigade/Vietnam
“I’ve played a lot of roles in life; I’ve met a lot of men. I’ve done some things I’d like to think I wouldn’t do again. And though I’m young, I’m old enough to know someday I’ll die, and to think about what lies beyond, and beside whom I would lie. Perhaps it doesn’t matter much; still, if I had my choice, I’d want a grave, ‘mongst soldiers when at last death quells my voice. I’m sick of the hypocrisy of lectures of the wise. I’ll take the man, with all the flaws, who goes through scared, and dies. The troops I knew were commonplace, they didn’t want the war; they fought because their Fathers and their Fathers had before. They cursed and killed and wept… God knows… they’re easy to deride… But, bury me with men like these. They faced the guns and died. It’s funny when you think of it, the way we got along. We’d come from different worlds to live in one where no one belongs. I didn’t even like them all; I’m sure they’d all agree. Yet I would give my life for them. I know some did for me. So bury me with soldiers, please. Though much maligned they be. Yes, bury me with soldiers, for I miss their company we’ll not soon see their likes again; we’ve had our fill of war. But bury me with men like them till someone else does more.”
Thank you to the Vietnam Veterans of America Chapter 1071, and many others, for giving these thirty veterans their final roll call.
For a complete list of the thirty veteran’s names, please click on the post below titled: “VVA #1071 – Come Show Respect.”
THANK YOU TO OUR VETERANS AND SERVICE MEMBERS FOR YOUR SERVICE!