The national embrace of those hostages


     It is not widely known, but Americans publicly remembered those who served in Vietnam while the war was still being fought. He was not alone.5-acre park on Lake Michigan for a local hero: 18-year-old Army Pfc. The prime catalyst for the change-in which the nation began in earnest to separate the warrior from the war-was the overwhelmingly positive reception the nation gave to the American hostages who returned from Iran in January 1981.

      An engraved stone dedicated November 11, 1968, at Maynard Evans High School in Orlando, Florida, honors 18 men from Maynard who died in Vietnam.S. In the summer of 1966, for example, the city of Chicago officially named a 10. In December 1967, the citizens of Wentzville, a small town in eastern Missouri, strung a 30-foot tree with lights to honor the town's military men serving in Vietnam.

      On September 15,1968, when it came time to name its new football stadium, Dunedin High School in Florida choose to honor 13 former students killed in the war. Then, on Veterans Day of that year, came the dedication of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial-the Wall-on the Mall in Washington, DC.

      Two months later, the American Legion finally got around to honoring Vietnam veterans. Memorial Stadium was dedicated that day with marble plaques engraved with the 13 names. The city subsequently named a junior college and a portion of the mammoth McCormick Place Convention Center in honor of the former 173rd Airborne trooper who lost his life smothering a grenade in what Olive's platoon commander called "the most incredible display of selfless bravery I ever witnessed.One of the first was built in 1971 by a bereaved father on his own land, with his own funds, in a windswept valley deep in the mountains of northern New Mexico. A simple gravestone, inscribed "Died for Their Country," was placed in front of Maryland's North Carroll High School in 1971 to honor four graduates who died in the war."

      Other early efforts include the Veterans Day 1966 dedication of a memorial in Grass Valley, California, to honor Gary Ames Miller, a local Marine who died in the war. As all Vietnam veterans know, that woeful state of affairs lasted until the early 1980s. Victor Westphall, who built it with family funds on family property in 1971 as a tribute to his son, Marine lieutenant Victor David Westphall III, killed in Vietnam in 1968.

    Now known as the DAV Vietnam Veterans Memorial, Angel Fire's gleaming, white-winged chapel sits on a hill in the shadow of 13,000-foot Wheeler vertical bearing Peak. The national embrace of those hostages caused many Americans to reexamine their less-than-accepting views of Americans who served in Vietnam. Virgin Islands, and in several foreign countries. Before the war was over, nine more names were added. Also on the site is a modem, 6,000-square-foot visitors center housing a large display of war memorabilia, a small library, and an audio-visual display about the monument. There are no monuments to its heroes, no statues in small-town squares and city parks, no plaques, nor public wreaths, nor memorials