HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WHNT) – The sights and sounds of patriotism were at their finest at the Madison County Veterans Memorial. The celebration was for “Welcome Home Vietnam Veterans Day” to honor the veterans who never got the welcome home they deserved 40 years ago.
This memorial is to honor all veterans. Today’s focus at the memorial was on those who served in the Vietnam War.
Under the eyes of troops bronzed to remember our nation’s wars are men and women who fought wars.
“I volunteered to go into the Marine Corps. I wanted to know how to fight if I had to go to Vietnam to fight,” said Veteran Richard Knight.
Rick Nalls chose the U.S. Air Force.
“I just thought it was a good situation and a way I could get faster promotions,” said Nalls.
The men did not know each other back then, but fought for the same thing. Both were fortunate enough to make it home from the Vietnam War.
“We stayed in the shadows, didn`t get out much, and did not like meeting and greeting people,” added Knight.
Neither of them got a warm welcome.
“We got spit on. We got cussed and called baby killers. All of those things were done,” added Nalls.
Madison County is making things right 40 years later.
“I have cold chills right now. It`s wonderful. It is one of the best things I have seen in a long time,” added Nalls.
Knight is also giving his thanks to supporters.
“They love America and the service they served in no matter what branch it was. When it comes to veterans, that is something they instill in your heart that you will never forget,” added Knight.
This is Huntsville’s second year hosting the event. Participants at this year’s said they can’t wait to return for next year’s event.