Veterans Day activities begin with reading of Vietnam Memorial Wall names

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WASHINGTON (Gray DC) - With Veterans Day approaching, ceremonies are beginning early in our nation’s capital. The annual reading of names at the Vietnam Memorial Wall is underway.

Ed Harrison traveled from California to read names at the annual event.

“I feel the need to honor these people,” said Ed Harrison, a Vietnam Veteran who traveled all the way from California just to participate in this ceremony.

He sat in the cold, for hours, listening to the names of his brothers’ in arms.

“I don’t know if the war was right or not, but you still have to honor the soldiers,” said Harrison.

Harrison says the reading of names helps the country continue to heal from a war that caused so much division. He says it makes him think about each fallen American who did not come home.

“I wonder how the world could’ve been different,” said Harrison.

Another visitor who waited in line to read names was Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke. Zinke, a former Navy Seal says the country has gotten better since Vietnam when it comes to respecting our veterans. He says he was celebrated when he came home from overseas.

“A lot of what I received when I came home is a result of the Vietnam veterans that came before me,” said Zinke.

He says on Veterans Day, Americans should think about these heroes and their families. He also says veterans can help each other on this day, and everyday.

“It’s your brothers and sisters. Go out and lend them a hand. You know, invite them in and work as a family,” said ZInke.

For Veterans Day weekend, Secretary Zinke says he’s visiting the Civil War battlefield at Manassas, Arlington Cemetery, and coming right back here to wash the memorial wall.