‘Always remember the guys that died’: South Boston Vietnam vets honored at memorial

BOSTON (WHDH) - Veterans and political leaders — including former White House Chief of Staff John Kelly — remembered South Boston residents who lost their lives in Vietnam on the anniversary of a local memorial dedicated to their sacrifice.

Kelly, Gov. Charlie Baker and Mayor Martin J. Walsh joined veterans on the rededication of the South Boston Vietnam Memorial, which honors the 25 men from the area who died in the Vietnam War, on the 38th anniversary of its completion. South Boston suffered one of the largest losses of life per capita in that war.

“If you’ve never served in uniform, you wouldn’t really understand it. If you have served in uniform you would understand how important it is to always remember the guys that died,” said Kelly, a retired Marine Corps general. “They’re the reason why we can sit here on a beautiful day and why we have this great democracy that we have.”

“Not only will people never forget these 25 or the million that General Kelly talked about … they will never forget how important it is to honor, respect and show gratitude and grace and kindness,” Baker said.

The memorial is one of America’s first formal memorials to Vietnam veterans.

“As a city, we are committed to the legacy of service that runs through all our neighborhoods,” Walsh said.

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