Tuesday, May 28, 2002

Low turnout disappoints veterans

By Randy Tucker rtucker@enquirer.com
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        Patriotic citizens remembered men and women who died in the service of their country - and on Sept. 11 -at memorial services Monday. As in past years, the number of people who paid respects fell far short of the numbers who died. It's a bitter pill for some veterans to swallow.

Jim Herrmann (right) and other members of the 82nd Airborne Division Association salute as the flag is raised at the Boone County Veterans Memorial.
(Patrick Reddy photo)
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Drew Barker, 6, of Burlington, looks at the Boone County Veterans Memorial.
(Patrick Reddy photo)
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Vietnam veteran Decator Durden of Colerain Township places a flag on the Eden Park Vietnam Memorial.
(Brandi Stafford photo)
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        “About a million people live in the (Cincinnati) metro area ... only a few hundred are at these events,” said retired Marine Col. Sands Robnick, keynote speaker at a memorial service for Vietnam veterans at Eden Park. “That is not enough.”

        Larry Hodge, 62, a Vietnam Army veteran who lives in Covington, said he doesn't want a “pat on the back.” But the former 101st Airborne Division soldier is disappointed to think so many Americans forget the high cost of freedom.

        “I've seen a lot of people lose their lives, and I hope it was for something,” Mr. Hodge said.

        Dennis Judd, 43, attended a service Monday at the Veterans Memorial in Florence.

        “War is hell,” said Mr. Judd, whose brother, Larry, died in the Vietnam War. “It's easy to forget that when you're sitting at a Reds game drinking beer with your buddies and having a good time. But nobody should have to die for it. My brother did. I hope my sons won't have to.”


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