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Home » Santa Clarita News » Events » Traveling Vietnam Memorial Wall » Traveling Vietnam Memorial Wall Speech By Tony Tartaglia
Traveling Vietnam Memorial Wall Speech By Tony Tartaglia

Traveling Vietnam Memorial Wall Speech By Tony Tartaglia

By: Tony Tartaglia

GOOD EVENING.  MY NAME IS TONY TARTAGLIA AND I AM WITH THE SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA GAS COMPANY.  MY COMPANY AND I ARE PROUD TO STAND BEFORE YOU TODAY AND BE A PART OF GROUP OF COMMUNITY LEADERS, BUSINESSES AND INDIVIDUALS THAT HELPED BRING THE TRAVELING VIETNAM MEMORIAL WALL HERE TO SANTA CLARITA.

IN THESE MODERN DAYS OF THE LONGEST PERIOD IN HISTORY FOR THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICAN TO BE AT WAR, WE OFTEN HEAR THE PHRASE FALLEN HEROES.  WE HAVE FALLEN HEROES FROM THE WORLDTRADECENTER…..AFGHANISTAN……AND IRAQ.


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HOWEVER, WHEN WE SPEAK ABOUT THE VIETNAM WAR….THEY ARE OFTEN REFERRED TO AS FORGOTTEN HEROES.  YES…..FORGOTTEN HEROES.

THE VIETNAM WAR…THE WAR THAT FOR MANY YEARS THE UNITED STATES WANTED TO FORGET.  WE WERE ASHAMED……THE FIRST WAR WE LOST.

HOWEVER, THAT HAD NOTHING TO DO WITH THOSE BRAVE MEN AND WOMEN.

WHEN I THOUGHT ABOUT WHAT I WANTED TO SAY TODAY…I THOUGHT…HOW DO I MAKE THIS PERSONAL?

SO LET ME TELL YOU A STORY FROM THE EYES OF AN EIGHT YEAR OLD BOY THAT HAS A BROTHER WHO IS TEN YEARS OLDER THAN HIM.

ONE NIGHT IN THE EARLY 1970’S, HE WAS WATCHING TELEVISION WITH HIS FAMILY. A SHOW CAME ON THE AIR…SO HE THOUGHT…CALLED THE LOTTERY.  366 BLUE CAPSULES WERE INSIDE A LARGE CLEAR CONTAINER AND A MAN WOULD PICK OUT A CAPSULE…OPEN IT AND GIVE SOMEONE A SLIP OF PAPER WITH A BIRTHDAY ON IT.  THEN THE BIRTHDAY WAS ASSIGNED A NUMBER.

LITTLE DID THAT BOY KNOW THAT THE NUMBER COULD MEAN LIFE AND DEATH…WAR OR PEACE.

HIS BROTHER GOT A FAIRLY LOW NUMBER…91…HE SAID YOU WON TO HIS BROTHER….BUT NO ONE SMILED.

TIME WENT ON AND HIS BROTHER WENT OFF TO COLLEGE AND THE BOY FORGOT ABOUT THE LOTTERY.

YEARS PAST AND ONE DAY, THE BOY HAD CONVERSATION WITH HIS OLDER BROTHER ABOUT THOSE EARLY DAYS AND THE VIETNAM WAR.  HE ASKED HIS BROTHER…..WHY DIDN’T YOU GO TO WAR?  HIS BROTHER SAID, I GOT A DEFERRAL TO GO TO COLLEGE.  WHEN I GOT HOME, THEY DIDN’T NEED ME ANYMORE…..THE DRAFT HAD STOPPED.

THE BOY, NOW A MAN, DIDN’T THINK MUCH OF IT.  HOWEVER, HE HAD A CHANCE ONE DAY TO GO TO WASHINGTON DC AND SEE ALL THE MONUMENTS. WHEN HE WENT TO THE VIETNAM MEMORIAL WALL…THE CONVERSATION WITH HIS OLDER BROTHER CAME BACK TO HIM…HIS BROTHER RECEIVED A DEFERRAL AND DIDN’T HAVE TO GO TO WAR.


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SO, WHEN I LOOK AT THIS WALL OF NAMES….I SEE ONE NAME….THE NAME OF BRAVE SOLDIER THAT COULD HAVE BEEN MY BROTHER.  A YOUNG MAN THAT WAS A BROTHER….A SON…BUT NEVER A HUSBAND OR A FATHER….LIKE MY BROTHER.

SO, WHEN YOU LOOK AT THIS WALL…DON’T FORGET THESE HEROES….THEY WERE THE ONES THAT DIDN’T COME HOME….AND WHEN YOU LOOK AT THIS WALL….DON’T FORGET THE HEROES OF THIS WAR THAT DID COME HOME.

THEY PLEDGED THEIR ALLEGIANCE TO THE FLAG OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA AND FOUGHT…AND BLEAD….AND IN MANY CASES DIED FOR THIS COUNTRY.

FORGOTTEN HEROES?……NO……FALLEN HEROES?……NO…AMERICAN HEROES!

THANK YOU!



Source: Santa Clarita News


Traveling Vietnam Memorial Wall Speech By Tony Tartaglia

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