By Mary O’KEEFE
The first Welcome Home Vietnam Veterans ceremony was held this morning at the corner of Honolulu Avenue and Ocean View Boulevard.
It was a significant location since Montrose hosts the first municipal sponsored Vietnam Memorial in the nation.
“[Vietnam] veterans came home and no one said thank you,” said Warren Spayth, Vietnam veteran. “If you were in uniform it was bad. Yes [some] would spit on veterans. There was definitely no celebration.”
He added that many of the Vietnam veterans, and just those that knew history, remembered the ticker-tape parades for returning World War II soldiers. Spayth said he that was a different war but soldiers in Vietnam were fighting for their country and thought the behavior toward returning veterans unjust.
“Just because you didn’t agree with the war you don’t [turn on] the veterans,” he said.
He said he is happy about the turnaround the country has taken toward the returning veterans since the days of Vietnam.
Crescenta Valley High School JROTC performed the colors and the branches of the service ceremony.
Lynn McGinnis was joined by fellow veterans in a flag folding ceremony.
“We hold these ceremonies to find out what we forgot,” McGinnis joked. “And we forgot the flag.”
A flag was found and the ceremony took place.
“I was suppose to bring the flag,” Spayth told the audience.
“You did a good job defending the flag in Vietnam so we will let it go this time,” McGinnis said.