Song and Speech Honors Vietnam War Veterans Day

By Ardith Van Riper

     The original Vietnam Veterans Day program for March 29 was canceled due to deaths in the Ho-Chunk Nation community.  However, United States Air Force Veteran Ralph Snake wanted to take the time to honor the occasion with song and speech.

     “When I heard they canceled this, out of respect for all the men and women that are on the Vietnam Wall, I said, ‘Well, something has to be done for them.’ So, I asked Forrest Funmaker if he could help me out today and he said yes.”   

     The original event included flag raising, firing squad, playing of TAPs, bringing in the colors, invocation, guest speakers, closing remarks, retiring of the colors, and a meal.  The noon impromptu ceremony included honor songs sung by Forrest Funmaker, Patrick Hall, and Dana Houghton in the upstairs atrium of the Tribal Office Building.  Veteran Ralph Snake spoke and presented the Eagle Staff.

     “I’m sure others would have helped if they were given more time but I want to thank each one of the family members here.  Some of their relatives fought in Vietnam,” shared Mr. Snake.

     The Ho-Chunk Nation recognizes March 29, 1973, as the day the United States of America officially withdrew all combat forces from South Vietnam.  President Marlon WhiteEagle proclaimed March 29, 2022, as Vietnam Veterans Day.

     Towards the end of the business day, President Marlon WhiteEagle read the proclamation out front of the Tribal Office Building, and Veteran Ralph Snake played TAPs.