SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) - Sunday was a time to reflect for Springfield area veterans of the Vietnam War.
Sunday marked the 35th anniversary of Vietnam Veterans Day here in Western Massachusetts. Each year Western Massachusetts' Vietnam veterans, along with the families of those who died in combat, gather at Court Square in Springfield, the site of the Vietnam monument.
The solemn ceremony included the reading of each name inscribed on the monument. A wreath was placed at the foot of the moment, and family members paid tribute to their sons and husband who were killed during the Vietnam War.
Retired Air Force Colonel Thomas Cleland spoke of the disrespectful treatment Vietnam veterans received from many of their countrymen when they came home almost forty years ago, and how attitudes have changed.
"Americans learned to separate the warriors now, so warriors are now treated entirely different, and obviously much better than we did," said Cleland.
These Vietnam veterans from the Pioneer Valley said they're proud to have served their country.