PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – Veterans Day ceremonies took place at adjoining memorials near Philadelphia’s Delaware River Waterfront for veterans of the Korean War and the Vietnam-Era Conflict.
At the Korean Memorial, at Second and Dock Streets, Clancy Decker recalled entering the Navy in 1943 during World War II and then in 1950, seeing conflict in Korea. Mr. Decker wants to recognize today’s heroes in ongoing conflicts.
Decker says, “Most of the war you knew the enemy was across from you. They weren’t behind or aside of you. They just had a ‘come get me or I’ll get you,’ and such like that.”
The Korean War Memorial is dedicated to the 610 servicemen who died from 1950-1953 from Philadelphia and its four immediately surrounding suburbs.
Master of ceremonies Tom Lamaine, the former broadcaster who spent 40-years at Channel 3, also paid tribute to Vietnam-era vets.
Lamaine referred to those veterans as, “Those who served in the disrespected war.”
Lamaine says, “‘It wasn’t easy to come home as a Vietnam veteran, and be told by your commanding officer it might be a good idea not to wear your uniform. That should have never happened, and should certainly never happen again.”
Lamaine was in the Navy and served in Vietnam from 1962 through 1965.
When those ceremonies ended, the attention moved to the nearby Vietnam Veterans Memorial for another wreath laying at Front and Spruce Streets. The site includes a curved wall inscribed with the names of the 646 Philadelphians killed in action.
Congressman Patrick Murphy is an Iraq War veteran. Murphy says, “I’m named after a guy whose name is etched on this thing from Fairmount – Paddy Ward, who gave his life as a door gunner.”
Reported by Steve Tawa, KYW Newsradio