PHILADELPHIA (WTXF) - Today, people across the country took time out to stop and remember those who perished fighting for our freedoms.
They gathered just after noon at the Philadelphia Vietnam Veterans Memorial and in front of a wall bearing the names of 648 people from Philadelphia who lost their lives in that most divisive of conflicts they said thank you.
With all of the pomp and ceremony and solemn gratitude, there was a prayerful reminder that freedom is not free.
Not far away from the wall, FOX 29's Bruce Gordon found 73-year-old Army veteran Henry Ruszkowski pouring over a newspaper photo display with brief backstories on hundreds of Philly war causalities.
Ruszkowski grew up in the city's Port Richmond neighborhood and spent part of 1967 in Vietnam.
"13 people from my neighborhood are up on that wall," he said.
Each year, Henry Ruszkowski attends this Memorial Day ceremony as a tribute to the friends he lost.
Half a century after the deadliest year of the most controversial war in U.S. history the fighting men and women of our military now know. Americans may not have supported the war, but all these years later many appreciate those who fought it.
"They deserved a welcome home 50 years ago and did not get it, but you're getting it now," Captain Louis Cavaliere, USN (ret.) said.