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Waltz Leads Bipartisan Group of Veterans to Handwash Vietnam Veterans Memorial

On Friday, Rep. Michael Waltz (R-Fla.) led a bipartisan group of U.S. Representatives to wash the Vietnam Veterans Memorial by hand to show respect and gratitude for Vietnam veterans.

The gathering was a symbol of gratitude for the fallen and a unifying exercise on the last day of session before the district work period, which begins July 29.

“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,” Rep. Waltz said. “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.”

Attendees included:

  • Rep. Don Bacon (R-Neb.)
  • Rep. Mike Bost (R-Ill.)
  • Rep. Gilbert Cisneros (D-Calif.)
  • Rep. Paul Cook (R-Calif.)
  • Rep. Jason Crow (R-Colo.)
  • Rep. Mike Gallagher (R-Wis.)
  • Rep. Mark Green (R-Tenn.)
  • Rep. Conor Lamb (D-Penn.)
  • Rep. Barry Loudermilk (R-Ga.)
  • Rep. Elaine Luria (D-Va.)
  • Rep. Brian Mast (R-Fla.)
  • Rep. Seth Moulton (R-Mass.)
  • Rep. Jimmy Panetta (D-Calif.)
  • Rep. Denver Riggleman (R-Va.)
  • Rep. Mikie Sherrill (D-N.J.)
  • Rep. Michael Waltz (R-Fla.)

“Caring for the Vietnam Veterans Memorial is just one of the many things we can do to show respect for our fallen and missing warriors,” said Rep. Bacon. “These aren’t just names engraved on a wall, these are heroes who have fought and lost their lives defending freedom. It is our duty to honor their legacy by preserving this memorial.”

“It is a great honor to join my colleagues from both sides of the aisle to help clean our Vietnam War Memorial. My father and two of my uncles served in Vietnam and it makes me tremendously proud of my family’s service,” said Rep. Cisneros. “I am proud to continue that tradition of service, formerly in the Navy and now as the Representative for California’s 39th District. This memorial is a beautiful work of art, that symbolizes the sacrifice that so many made for their country. I am honored to do this little bit to help preserve and maintain such an important part of our history.” 

“It was very moving to join my colleagues this morning at the Vietnam Veterans Memorial as we paid tribute to the more than 58,000 men and women who perished in Vietnam,” Rep. Cook said. “Many of them served alongside me but didn’t make it home. We must never forget their service or their sacrifice. Our nation is forever in debt.”

“The men and women whose names are etched on this Wall answered our country’s call to duty and gave their lives for all of us, said Rep. Loudermilk. “This small deed we did here today will help to ensure that what they did remains etched in the memories of all Americans.”

“It was an honor to join my colleagues in an act of reverence for our fallen Vietnam veterans,” Rep. Luria said. “As a proud 20-year Navy veteran, I have long witnessed the bravery, determination and selflessness of our military community. Our fallen servicemembers gave the ultimate sacrifice to ensure we can continue to enjoy our freedoms.”

“The brave men and women who selflessly served in Vietnam endured harsh conditions and overcame significant obstacles,” said Rep. Mast. “Today and every day, we remember them for their service and sacrifice to our nation.”

“It was an honor to join my fellow Democratic and Republican colleagues and veterans in paying tribute to the men and women who served and paid the ultimate sacrifice in the Vietnam War. This is the least that we can do for all that they did,” said Rep. Panetta.

“The sacrifices made by our veterans should never be forgotten,” said Rep. Riggleman. “As an Air Force veteran, I know some of those sacrifices and have the highest gratitude for those who came before me and gave the ultimate sacrifice. It is a tremendous honor to participate in this Vietnam Memorial cleaning, when we in Congress can show our respect and gratitude in a bipartisan way.”

“I am honored to join with this bipartisan group of members to care for the Vietnam Veterans Memorial,” said Rep. Sherrill. “This hallowed wall is a solemn tribute to those Americans who made the ultimate sacrifice for our nation. Let the memory of those whose names are inscribed remind us that brave Americans will always answer the call to duty and that our leaders’ highest responsibility is to only send them into harm’s way when absolutely necessary.”