Graduation Speech: Welcome To The Virtual War Memorial Museum

Welcome to the Virtual War Memorial Museum. Here, you can find stories of veterans from WWII and Vietnam. War often creates traumatic memories that can dramatically change a person’s life, but coming home can be just as tragic as on the battlefield. While WWII soldiers received a hero’s welcome, soldiers from Vietnam weren’t so lucky, being seen as monster in the public eye. Nevertheless, I am grateful for all of the veterans who have served and protected our country, and to those warriors, I would like to say “thank you.”
The Bedford Boys
Out of all of the towns and cities in America, the town of Bedford with a population 3,200 suffered the most severe D-Day losses. 30 men in Company A of the 116th Infantry were from Bedford, a small town in Virginia. Known as the Bedford Boys, they grew up together during the Great Depression and, later, joined the National Guard. They were called to duty in February of 1941. On June 6, 1944, the Bedford Boys were among the first to approach Omaha Beach in Normandy, France, a beach that soon became a scene of carnage. At the end of the day, 19 of the 30 Bedford Boys died, and
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Expecting a cheering crowd of people and music to greet them, he was disappointed when he stepped off the plane saw nothing but the hostile Military Police. They treated the soldiers more like criminals than returning heroes, being pat down for drugs and weapons and being herded from one place to another. McDonald recalled how the veterans also had no help getting home; they were just on their own. When he finally got home, his entire family felt different to him. Although McDonald looked forward to seeing his family again, they were cold to him and refused to listen to his story. Not wanting to deal with this treatment, McDonald left his home for the open road, but he was spat on, harassed, and insulted by those he met. Despite finally returning, he felt rejected and alone. Thank

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