VIETNAM VETERANS OF AMERICA, INC.
SACRAMENTO VALLEY - CHAPTER 500
PARTICIPATED IN OR MEMBERS ATTENDED
THE FOLLOWING EVENTS:
READING OF THE
NAMES - 2002
MEMORIAL DAY PARADE - 2002
JULY 4TH PARADE - 2002
THE MOVING WALL - LODI - 2002
PURPLE HEART DAY - 2002
SALUTE TO COURAGE DAY - STATE FAIR - 2002
OKTOBERFEST - 2002 CA STATE FAIR 2001
ANNUAL GET-A-WAY - 2002 Photo by Barry Clark
MARINE CORP BALL - 2002
MICHAEL KELLEY BOOK SIGNING - 2002
LATINO VETERANS BANQUET - 2002 - NEW
VETERANS DAY PARADE - ELK GROVE - 2002 - NEW
VETERANS AFFILIATED COUNCIL CHRISTMAS PARTY - NEW
UNITED VETERANS OF ROSEVILLE CHRISTMAS PARTY - NEW
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THE READING OF THE NAMES 2002
Veterans of all wars and the public gathered together Sunday, May 26, 2002 to honor all California servicemen killed in the Vietnam War. Standing in front of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial located in Capital Park in downtown Sacramento, volunteers began to read the names of over 5000 souls at approximately 7:45AM. A break in the "Reading" took place at noon when a memorial ceremony took place. Highlights of the ceremony included remarks from Master of Ceremonies, Dave Bender from KOVR, the introduction of local dignitaries, and acknowledgement of veterans from all wars. The "Reading" continued until 7:45PM when all of the names had been read.
The Sacramento Vietnam Veterans' Memorial is one of the most impressive and unique in the country. It was created by artist, Rolf Kriken, and dedicated in 1988. The Memorial is visited frequently by veterans and the general public. It is not surprising to stop by in the wee hours of the morning and find a lone visitor in deep meditation. The Memorial's life size bronze figures representing all services depict typical wartime scenes. You are greeted by the haunting look of a soldier seated on a block of stone. It appears he has just read a letter and is staring right into your eyes. What he is thinking or trying to tell you is up to each individual's own interpretation.
You will see many Vietnam Veterans as well as the families of those killed gathering at the Memorial on the special veteran holidays. They come to just be together and hopefully to find comfort in each other. You will hear the phrase "Welcome Home Brother" many times. The "Reading of the Names" event each year helps to provide comfort and healing to all those who seek closure from the wounds of war. .
The third annual "Reading of the Names" was sponsored by the Veterans of Foreign Wars Post #9869, the Postal Employees Unit and Sacramento Memorial. It was endorsed by the Vietnam Veterans of America, Sacramento Valley, Chapter 500
(c)Copyright September 1, 2002 by M.L. McNeill
All photos unless otherwise credited are property and (c) by M.L. McNeill
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