Remembrance and Honor: Recognizing Memorial Day

Written by LTC Al Bauer, USA (Ret), Greater Cincinnati Chapter of the Military Officers Association of America

While all library locations are closed Monday for the Memorial Day holiday, this blog post summarizes a recent library event honoring military veterans.

Earlier this month, 20 Vietnam Veterans were recognized and honored in a patriotic ceremony conducted at the Harrison Branch Library ahead of Memorial Day. The event was co-hosted by CHPL and the Military Officers Association of America (MOAA), the nation’s largest military officials organization.

“My uncle was injured in Vietnam. He lost an eye to a grenade. I grew up knowing the sacrifice he made for our country and the sacrifices made by all our veterans,” said Michelle L. Elliott, Manager of the Harrison Branch Library. “I wanted to give our local veterans a chance to be recognized for their service and to let the community know who these special people are – or were. We cannot forget.”

A Day of Recognition and Remembrance

The emotional ceremony was a “Welcome Home” and thank you to 50 years since their service.

The ceremony was conducted by LTC Albert Brauer, USA Retired of Montgomery and CAPT Steve Drefahl, USN Retired of Cincinnati. Both are past presidents of the Greater Cincinnati Chapter of MOAA, opens a new window. The chapter has recognized almost 1,000 Vietnam veterans the past five years.

The veterans, who represented the US Army, US Marine Corps, US Navy and US Air Force, were individually recognized and presented the Congressionally-approved Vietnam Veteran Lapel Pin. Each pin presentation followed a sharp military hand salute and the veterans were told “A Grateful Nation Thanks and Honors You for Your Service.” At least two of the veterans attending were Purple Heart recipients due to their combat wounds. Two other special attendees were Former Army First Lieutenant Billie Mitchell and former Army Captain Al Mitchell, a married couple residing in Harrison and who were recognized for their service.

An additional family member was recognized for the Vietnam service of a deceased family member and presented with the appropriate survivor pin.

This Memorial Day, as we honor the fallen throughout history, take a moment to reflect with some of the local veterans who are a part of the Veterans History Project on our blog, opens a new window and YouTube channel, opens a new window.

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