A bipartisan group hand-washed the Vietnam Veterans Memorial, U.S congressmen from Florida were involved with the effort.
The gesture was conceived as a show of respect for Vietnam veterans and a unification effort between the parties on the last day of session before the district work period, led by Florida Republican U.S. Rep. Michael Waltz.
Waltz represents Florida’s Congressional District 6, including Flagler and Volusia counties and parts of Lake and St. Johns counties.
He said of the event Friday, July 26:
“The ethos of servant leadership transcends party lines and I’m grateful to join my colleagues from both sides of the aisle to pay tribute to our veterans and preserve their memories today.”
Waltz’ message of unity and gratitude inspired more than a dozen congresspeople, as he was joined by Republican and Democrat representatives, including Republican Rep. Brian Mast, who presides over Florida’s District 18, from Ft. Pierce to Palm Beach.
“The brave men and women who selflessly served in Vietnam endured harsh conditions and overcame significant obstacles,” said Mast.
“Today and every day, we remember them for their service and sacrifice to our nation.”
Other representatives who showed up to hand-wash the Vietnam Veterans Memorial hailed from Georgia, Illinois, Tennessee, California and many more states across the nation.
The names of tens of thousands of Americans who died in Vietnam are listed on the wall. The main part of two-acre memorial was constructed in 1982, but since then, more than 400 names have been added.
The names are listed in quasi-chronological order, related to the date of injury or death.
“There are 58,000 names on the Vietnam Veterans Memorial – but this memorial is much more than just a list of names. It is a symbol of honor and gratitude for these men and women’s bravery. It is a testament of their sacrifice and it is a reminder of the cost of freedom,” said Waltz.
Catch a video from the event on Mast’s Facebook page.