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Return to Vietnam

A veteran, his daughter, their journey

In Vietnam, commemorating Rockland’s fallen Vietnam veterans

November
26

During the humanitarian tour of Vietnam earlier this month, our group of Rotary Club members and Vietnam veterans from Rockland County and other parts of the country held three memorial services, honoring nine of Rockland County’s 46 fallen Vietnam veterans and other people who didn’t make it home from the conflict. My story about this ran in today’s Journal News: click here to read it.

During the final ceremony, held Nov. 16 in a deep grove of rubber trees between Cu Chi and Tay Ninh, several of the group members read poems and names out loud, before we dedicated the pile of flowers and burning incense. Click on the video link below to see some photographs from the memorial, and to hear the first and last poems, read by Howard Goldin, of Monsey, and Butch Sincock, of Pennsylvania. Both men served in the area with the 25th Infantry Division in 1968 – as did my father, but the three didn’t know each other back then.

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Notice at the end, there’s a Vietnamese woman who walked up to the memorial as we were leaving, and tenderly adjusted some of the incense. Fortunately, I happened to look back before getting on the bus, got the shot and pointed it out to the others in our group. Everyone, including my father, was very moved by her actions.

memorialwoman.jpg

This entry was posted on Monday, November 26th, 2007 at 5:50 am by Nicole Neroulias. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed.
Category: Vietnam veterans, Vietnam veterans

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One Response to “In Vietnam, commemorating Rockland’s fallen Vietnam veterans”

  1. Ken Pearson

    I enjoyed reading your article . I am well aware of the intense emotion caused by the Vietnam War . My brother, 1st Lieutenant Francis L. Pearson USAR was a Ranger with the 1st Air Calvary. He was killed April 3, 1969 in Tay Ninh. Its good to know that others have not forgotten them. I thought that was a nice idea to retrieve some soil and rocks from Tay Ninh . I hope it gives the families of those who died some closure. Your trip appears to have been a success. Ken Pearson/Stony Point,NY

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About this blog
"Return to Vietnam" chronicles the journey of Col. Andonios Neroulias USA (Ret.) of Briarcliff Manor, NY, joined by his daughter, staff writer Nicole Neroulias, to the country he fought in 40 years ago. They are traveling with Vietnam veterans and Rotarians from Rockland County and other parts of the country. Check this blog for daily posts, photos, recordings and slideshows about their experiences.
About the authors
Nicole and Andonios Neroulias

Nicole Neroulias grew up in Briarcliff Manor, NY, and graduated from Cornell University and the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism. She has covered religion and city news in Cyprus, Connecticut and California, where she earned several fellowships and prizes, including a national Religion Newswriters Association award. She joined The Journal News in early 2007 and also teaches journalism at Columbia.

Col. Andonios Neroulias emigrated from Greece in 1956 and was commissioned an officer through the ROTC program of the City College of NY. From 1967-68, he served in Vietnam with the U.S. Army's 25th Infantry (Tropic Lightning) Division, whose main base was in Cu Chi, known for its intricate Viet Cong tunnels. Among his military awards are the Legion of Merit, the Bronze Star, the Meritorious Service Medal and the Combat Infantryman Badge. He is retired from the U.S. Army Reserve and lives in Briarcliff Manor, NY.
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