Story By John Murray
Look into their eyes. Look hard at the faces of the 30 soldiers from Waterbury who perished during the Vietnam War. They were young and strong and died 8500 miles away from home fighting an impossible war their country asked them to fight.
These men answered the call, like Waterburians have done in the Revolutionary War, the War of 1812, the Civil War, the Spanish American War, WW I, WW II, the Korean War, the Vietnam War, the Gulf War, and the endless war in the Middle East with Iraq and Afghanistan.
The city’s annual Memorial Day Parade, and ceremony on the Green, were canceled this year due to the COVID-19 crisis, but the Waterbury Veterans Committee wasn’t going to let the day pass without an acknowledgement to the soldiers from Waterbury who paid the ultimate sacrifice.
Dozens of flags are planted in the grass in the plaza in front of Waterbury City Hall, and the faces of the 30 men who died in Vietnam hang from the brass railings half way up the marble facade of the building.
For many people Memorial Day is about beaches, boats, barbecues and beer. For the families of the dead, and for the men and women who fought along side them, Memorial Day is a solemn day to ponder the horrors of war. Memorial Day is a day to honor the sacrifice hundreds of thousands of American men and women have paid at the altar of freedom.
Look into their eyes.
PFC Norman Edward Dawson was killed in action on July 16th, 1966 in Quang Tri Vietnam.
U.S. Marine John Patrick Cullinan was killed in action on January 10th, 1968 in Quang Nam, Vietnam.