This week in OKC the “Tip of the Spear” exhibit was officially opened at the Oklahoma History Center on Monday. The outdoor exhibit features a Bell UH-1 helicopter, better known as the Huey, which become an iconic symbol of the Vietnam War. It sits atop a representation of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial, The Wall, which represents the more than 58,000 lives of U.S. service members, including 988 Oklahomans, lost in the war.
The Oklahoma House of Representatives unanimously approved a resolution recognizing Vietnam veterans and welcoming them home. House Resolution 1018 by Rep. Tommy Hardin of Madill officially recognized and honored Vietnam War veterans for their service and sacrifice, joining the national celebration of Vietnam War Veterans Day. The resolution also expressed appreciation for the veterans’ service to the state and nation and with deep appreciation welcomed them home.
“Unfortunately, due to the unpopularity of the Vietnam War at its end, our nation’s veterans were not welcomed with open arms as they should have been when they finally returned home,” Hardin, a Marine, said. “These brave service members deserve our utmost respect and gratitude for their willingness to serve and sacrifice for their country and in pursuit of freedom everywhere, and we thank them for their heroism and valor.”
My father was a Marine and a Huey crew chief during the Tet Offensive. He was a great man who loved life and loved his family, but events that happened during his time in Vietnam and when he returned home troubled him throughout his life. This memorial service and the House resolution were particularly meaningful to me.