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Veterans Day 2019: Tri-State Remembers Those Who Served

Tana Weingartner
Veterans stand at attention as a color guard posts the colors during the Veterans Day ceremony in Eden Park on Nov. 11, 2019.

Despite the threat of inclement weather approaching, Monday dawned sunny and warm as people gathered in Eden Park on Veterans Day to honor those who served.

"Veterans are very important to our country and we should continue to honor them," says Cheryl Amann of Kentucky, who attended the annual ceremony at the Vietnam Memorial.

Guest speaker John Lomax of WKRC-TV remembers attending the 1984 dedication of the Eden Park memorial. As he recalls, a small group of Vietnam veterans remained afterward, kneeling in prayer, arms around one another.

"It was a unanimous prayer they created - an affirmation that this recognized them. It saw them; it knew who they were. It meant that all the while there was someone keeping in touch with what they felt and what they needed that they didn't get when they came back.

"It was an image that I'll never forget," Lomax says.

Credit Tana Weingartner / WVXU
The event at the Vietnam Veterans Memorial draws mostly veterans from the Vietnam era, though there were a few from other wars.

Hosted each year by Vietnam Veterans of America Chapter 10, the ceremony includes the presentation and posting of the flag, patriotic music, a salute to each branch of service, placing of honor wreaths, a rifle salute and the playing of taps.

Credit Tana Weingartner / WVXU
The playing of taps follows a rifle salute at the Veterans Day ceremony in Eden Park on Nov. 11, 2019.

The crowd, largely Vietnam-era veterans, took turns placing small American and POW/MIA flags at the base of the memorial as they left, many stepping back to salute before going on their way.

The Vietnam conflict began in 1954 with the war continuing until 1975. It's estimated to have cost $200 billion. At the end of the war, 2,646 Americans were listed as prisoners of war or missing in action; 1, 587 remain unaccounted for.