Pictures: Memorial Day in Eden Park
Flags, music, remembrances, tributes and tears all mixed Monday as people marked Memorial Day in Cincinnati's Eden Park.
Vietnam Veterans of America (VVA) Chapter 10 hosts the annual ceremony at the Vietnam Veterans memorial near the water tower. The service includes a flag ceremony, placing of honor wreaths and remarks.
The chapter handed out eight $1000 college scholarships. Member Charlie Doan noted there was a record number of applicants this year.
This year's speaker, WCPO anchor Adrian Whitsett, spoke of his time as a Marine, reflecting that he and others who fought in Iraq were better prepared thanks to the lessons learned by those who fought in the jungles of Vietnam.
He also acknowledged that while war casualty numbers have declined, suicide among veterans remains an issue that needs to be addressed. He noted roughly 108,000 veterans died by suicide during the Iraq and Afghanistan wars.
"They call us veterans," he said as tears brimmed in his eyes. "I wonder at times if we should be called survivors instead."
That, he said, gives special meaning to this day.
"We veterans and our families are here to tell the stories and keep the memories of those who sacrificed alive... And while we take the day to reflect on what they mean to us, we also need to celebrate their living, and ours.
"If we don't," he asked, "what's the point of their sacrifice to keep us all free."