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Memorial Day at the Sandoval County Vietnam Veterans Memorial

I was asked to speak at the Memorial Day Ceremony. This is my speech:

Good afternoon,

I am Circe Olson Woessner the founder of the Museum of the American military family. I am happy to be here with you today.

Just this morning, after three years of fundraising and hard work, we opened our exhibit: Sacrifice & Service: the American Military Family.

It is a tribute to America’s military families and tells the stories of joy, of sorrow, of hardship and pride in the words of generations who also served alongside their troops.

This exhibit, and our museum, are a collaboration between hundreds of people and organizations determined to preserve military family stories and memories so they are not forgotten.

Remembering is why we are here today at the Sandoval County Vietnam Veterans Memorial honoring those who lived and died for their country–we must never forget their sacrifices.

We gather here today as part of a large extended family– although we may not know each other personally, we are connected through love, honor, patriotism and service.


We are family.


I recently spoke with a singer-songwriter Jack Murphy about what inspired his song The Promise.

He said,

“This is my story as it is everyone’s story that was in Vietnam. You make a friend, you talk about home and your girl and your car, and then one day, one of you is gone. My song is a way of my giving back something to those who gave so much and those of us who try to cope every day for the rest of our lives with the memories of their loss.”

…To support our service members far away in Vietnam, the USO sent their own men and women into war zones to bring comfort and distraction to our fathers, mothers, brothers and sisters and our children serving there– often putting them in harms way. They brought a piece of America to the jungles and bases and camps– to support and uplift.

I have here a memento from the USO archives that I’d like to share –neither they, nor I, know much about it but maybe someone here does.


This flag says “Chu Lai July 4 1967—To Patty”

I am pretty sure Patty is a part of our family.

She’s someone, who for a brief snapshot in history,  loved and supported our troops, becoming part of their memories and celebrating their lives.

So we come out this Memorial Day to honor those who answered the call and made a difference in history.

We are all united

We are all a family

And we honor our own

Thank you all —

We thank you for your service

We thank you for your love

We thank you for being here today.





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