Support our mission
 
Korean War veteran Tom Munizzo gets emotional as he talks about his experiences during the Korean War while visiting the Korean War Memorial November 11 in Washington, DC.
Korean War veteran Tom Munizzo gets emotional as he talks about his experiences during the Korean War while visiting the Korean War Memorial November 11 in Washington, DC. (Felicia White/Stars and Stripes)
Korean War veteran Tom Munizzo gets emotional as he talks about his experiences during the Korean War while visiting the Korean War Memorial November 11 in Washington, DC.
Korean War veteran Tom Munizzo gets emotional as he talks about his experiences during the Korean War while visiting the Korean War Memorial November 11 in Washington, DC. (Felicia White/Stars and Stripes)
Iraq War veteran Gilberto Cruz speaks during an interview at the Vietnam War Memorial Wall in Washington, DC, November 11, 2010, Gilberto, who served as a medic, was injured in Iraq.
Iraq War veteran Gilberto Cruz speaks during an interview at the Vietnam War Memorial Wall in Washington, DC, November 11, 2010, Gilberto, who served as a medic, was injured in Iraq. (Felicia White/Stars and Stripes)
World War II veteran Wilson Hoerichs talks about the significance of Veterans Day while visiting the Korean War Memorial with his family.
World War II veteran Wilson Hoerichs talks about the significance of Veterans Day while visiting the Korean War Memorial with his family. (Felicia White/Stars and Stripes)
Daniel W. Roberts, dressed as a prisoner of war (POW), sits in a cage on the National Mall in Washington DC, November, 11, 2010. Roberts says he hopes to bring attention to the many POWs that are still missing.
Daniel W. Roberts, dressed as a prisoner of war (POW), sits in a cage on the National Mall in Washington DC, November, 11, 2010. Roberts says he hopes to bring attention to the many POWs that are still missing. (Felicia White/Stars and Stripes)
Floral tributes mark Veterans Day at the Korean War Memorial in Washington, D.C.
Floral tributes mark Veterans Day at the Korean War Memorial in Washington, D.C. (Joe Gromelski/Stars and Stripes)
Floral tributes mark Veterans Day at the Korean War Memorial in Washington, D.C.
Floral tributes mark Veterans Day at the Korean War Memorial in Washington, D.C. (Joe Gromelski/Stars and Stripes)
Statues at the Korean War Memorial are reflected in the polished granite wall that's engraved with hundreds of photos of servicemembers who took part in the conflict.
Statues at the Korean War Memorial are reflected in the polished granite wall that's engraved with hundreds of photos of servicemembers who took part in the conflict. (Joe Gromelski/Stars and Stripes)
Vietnam War veteran Bud Moore of Fort Lauderdale, Fla., pays tribute to his fallen comrades during his annual Veterans Day visit to the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington, D.C. Three of Long's friends -- Johnnie P. Stephens, Jr., Gary Allen Corrie and Bill Long -- are remembered on the Wall.
Vietnam War veteran Bud Moore of Fort Lauderdale, Fla., pays tribute to his fallen comrades during his annual Veterans Day visit to the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington, D.C. Three of Long's friends -- Johnnie P. Stephens, Jr., Gary Allen Corrie and Bill Long -- are remembered on the Wall. (Joe Gromelski/Stars and Stripes)
Vietnam War veteran Bud Moore of Fort Lauderdale, Fla., touches the name of his Florida State University classmate, Johnnie P. Stephens, Jr., on the Vietnam Veterans Memorial during his annual Veterans Day visit to Washington, D.C.
Vietnam War veteran Bud Moore of Fort Lauderdale, Fla., touches the name of his Florida State University classmate, Johnnie P. Stephens, Jr., on the Vietnam Veterans Memorial during his annual Veterans Day visit to Washington, D.C. (Joe Gromelski/Stars and Stripes)
Tom Stuart of Minneapolis, Dave Altman of Beverly, Mass., and Al Cady of Edina, Minn, left to right, pose for a photo at the Vietnam Veterans Memorial. All served aboard the USS Benewah during the Vietnam War.
Tom Stuart of Minneapolis, Dave Altman of Beverly, Mass., and Al Cady of Edina, Minn, left to right, pose for a photo at the Vietnam Veterans Memorial. All served aboard the USS Benewah during the Vietnam War. (Joe Gromelski/Stars and Stripes)
A Veterans Day reunion at the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington, D.C.
A Veterans Day reunion at the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington, D.C. (Joe Gromelski/Stars and Stripes)
(Joe Gromelski/Stars and Stripes)
(Joe Gromelski/Stars and Stripes)
(Joe Gromelski/Stars and Stripes)
(Joe Gromelski/Stars and Stripes)
A speaker at the Vietnam Women's Memorial tells of her wartime experiences during Veterans Day ceremonies.
A speaker at the Vietnam Women's Memorial tells of her wartime experiences during Veterans Day ceremonies. (Joe Gromelski/Stars and Stripes)
Servicemembers stand in front of the Freedom Wall at the National World War II Memorial following a Veterans Day ceremony. Each of the stars on the wall represents 100 Americans who were killed in the war.
Servicemembers stand in front of the Freedom Wall at the National World War II Memorial following a Veterans Day ceremony. Each of the stars on the wall represents 100 Americans who were killed in the war. (Joe Gromelski/Stars and Stripes)
Gold Star Mother Florence Johnson of Boston talks with Airman Debra Gould of Cary, N.C., after a Veterans Day ceremony Thursday at the National World War II Memorial in Washington. Mrs. Johnson's son, Edward L. Johnson, was killed in Vietnam on August 27, 1967.
Gold Star Mother Florence Johnson of Boston talks with Airman Debra Gould of Cary, N.C., after a Veterans Day ceremony Thursday at the National World War II Memorial in Washington. Mrs. Johnson's son, Edward L. Johnson, was killed in Vietnam on August 27, 1967. (Joe Gromelski/Stars and Stripes)
Gold Star Mother Florence Johnson of Boston talks with Airman Debra Gould of Cary, N.C., after a Veterans Day ceremony Thursday at the National World War II Memorial in Washington. Mrs. Johnson's son, Edward L. Johnson, was killed in Vietnam on August 27, 1967.
Gold Star Mother Florence Johnson of Boston talks with Airman Debra Gould of Cary, N.C., after a Veterans Day ceremony Thursday at the National World War II Memorial in Washington. Mrs. Johnson's son, Edward L. Johnson, was killed in Vietnam on August 27, 1967. (Joe Gromelski/Stars and Stripes)
James Hodges and Arlie Willis pose for a photo during a Veterans Day visit to the National World War II Memorial. The two were among two dozen Native American veterans sent to Washington by the Chickasaw Nation ("Unconquered and unconquerable," said Willis) for a weeklong visit.
James Hodges and Arlie Willis pose for a photo during a Veterans Day visit to the National World War II Memorial. The two were among two dozen Native American veterans sent to Washington by the Chickasaw Nation ("Unconquered and unconquerable," said Willis) for a weeklong visit. (Joe Gromelski/Stars and Stripes)
James Hodges, left, and Arlie Willis, visiting Washington with a group from the Chickasaw Nation, talk with fellow Vietnam veteran Walter Romanowski.
James Hodges, left, and Arlie Willis, visiting Washington with a group from the Chickasaw Nation, talk with fellow Vietnam veteran Walter Romanowski. (Joe Gromelski/Stars and Stripes)
World War II veteran Harvey Hays talks with a group of students during his visit to the National World War II Memorial on Veterans Day.
World War II veteran Harvey Hays talks with a group of students during his visit to the National World War II Memorial on Veterans Day. (Joe Gromelski/Stars and Stripes)

WASHINGTON – Daniel W. Roberts sat shivering in a tiger cage on Thursday morning on the National Mall, starting his Veterans Day by trying to raise awareness about troops still missing from the Vietnam War.

Roberts, who served in Vietnam with the Marines from 1969 to 1970, said children these days have no idea about this issue, claiming they think “POW-MIA” is the name of an Indian reservation. A lot of people who came to see him Thursday didn’t know what a tiger cage is.

He braved the morning chill to make a point: That he believes the Vietnamese are still holding U.S. troops listed as Missing in Action.

“I don’t care if it’s snowing, I’d be out here,” he said. “These are my brothers that are lost – 1,700 of them are still over there.”

Hundreds of veterans were on the National Mall Thursday, including Wilson Hoerichs, who hit Utah Beach on D-Day, fought at the Hurtgen Forest and later the Battle of the Bulge. What sticks with him most was liberating the Nordhausen concentration camp at the end of the war.

“I understood – whether it’s a fact or not – that they had to build the crematorium because of the fact that they had so many prisoners that were underfed and starved to death, that they had to get some way to get rid of them,” he said. “Believe me, when my eyes saw the volumes of ash that was left there, it was unbelievable.”

On Thursday, he paid a visit to the Korean War Veterans Memorial. When asked what he sees when he looks at the monument, he said, “A world that can’t learn what has been taught by history.”

Korean War veteran Tom Munizzo was also at the memorial, which has 19 statues of troops marching, covered in blankets to give them some protection against the intense cold.

“I do have a picture of me with the same blankets as these statues have got, and I was marching down there with snow all over me, I’ll never forget that, and I always said that if I ever got back home, I’d never again beef about hot weather, and I never have,” he said.

Munizzo’s eyes welled up and he fought to control his breaking voice as he talked about what he felt looking at the memorial. He lost a lot of friends in Korea.

“What an emotional feeling to go through this – I’m not sure whether I could do it again,” he said.

Bud Moore of Ft. Lauderdale, Fla., has visited the Vietnam Veterans Memorial almost every year since its completion in 1982. He vowed to keep coming until he can’t walk anymore.

The names on the memorial are listed in order of their deaths. Moore explained how that shows just how bloody Vietnam was.

“An amazing fact is that the dates of death between Bill Long and my driver, [Gary Allen] Corrie, were roughly a little over two days [apart], and they're separated by three panels,” he said. "That's quite amazing, when it comes to the magnitude of the names on this wall, of the men who served, and women, that are no longer here.”

Air Vice Marshal Kym Osley, of the Australian military, spoke at the annual Veterans Day ceremony at the Vietnam memorial. For Americans, Vietnam was a world away, but it’s right in Australia’s back yard, he said.

“Thank you to all the Vietnam veterans for making democracy the rule of the day in our part of the world,” he said.

Gilberto Cruz, a former Army medic who was injured in Iraq, was at the memorial before the ceremony. His voice started to break when he was asked what he would like the eventual memorial for the Iraq war to look like.

“If I describe it, it’s going to be hard to bear, because as a medic, I’d seen so many guys just go down, and it’s really hard when you hear those choppers down and trying to give that guy support so he can hold on.

“The only thing I can think of is the guys out in the desert and the Black Hawks behind them, because that’s the only thing that was out there – guys just walking out in the desert and Blackhawks right behind them, that’s all. Air support. Didn’t have nothing else.”

Stars and Stripes Web editor Joe Gromelski contributed to this story.

jeffrey.schogol@stripes.osd.mil

Migrated

Stripes in 7



around the web


Sign Up for Daily Headlines

Sign-up to receive a daily email of today’s top military news stories from Stars and Stripes and top news outlets from around the world.

Sign up