Bellevue American Legion Post #273 is inviting all present and former Bellevue area Vietnam veterans to walk or ride in this year’s Heritage Days Parade, which will take place at 10 a.m. on Sunday, July 2 to mark the 50th anniversary of U.S. troops leaving Vietnam.
Those who plan to walk can come directly to 602 North Riverview Street. (That street, along with side streets from Belle Street north will be closed at 9 a.m., so those participating may have to walk from Second Street if coming after that).
Those planning to ride on the trailer should have someone drop them off at Horizon Lanes where the trailer will be set up with folks assisting.
According to Dr. Butch Eggers, who is leading the charge for the Heritage Day entry, Vietnam veterans are also welcome to wear uniforms.
“If your uniform has gotten too big for you over the years, and you have some piece of memorabilia such as a jacket or baseball cap, wear that. If none of that works, just come anyway,” he said.
On a more serious note, Eggers (a Vietnam veteran himself) also shared his thought on the conflict 50 years after the U.S. ended its campaign there.
“Our father’s war was black and white. Everyone was a hero, from General Eisenhower down to Rosie the Riveter ¬– even the housewife left behind to wrestle with the ration book was involved,” said Eggers.
“Our war was shades of gray. We still don’t know who our heroes were. Was he my brother whose ship was shelled in the Gulf of Tonkin? Or was he my other brother who sold flowers for peace on a street corner in San Antonio? In their own way, they both served. When we came home we slipped quietly into our former lives, content that we had done our duty as we saw it. But now, 50 years later, we want to be in a parade.”
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