PHOTOS: Eagan's Memorial Day Ceremony Pays Tribute to Service Members

Guest speakers included 1st. Lt. Jonathan Reid with the Red Bulls Division and Vietnam veteran Mark Mulvihill.

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More than 100 community members gathered underneath the flags at Eagan's Tribute and Memorial Plaza on Monday afternoon to pay tribute to local service members and emergency responders.

As part of the gathering, the Royal Brass Quintet performed and the Eagan Police and Fire Honor Guard posted the colors.

Additional participants included, World War ll veteran Dick Carroll, the Eagan Men's Quartet, Chaplain Debbie Brown and Mayor Mike Maguire, who delivered opening comments. Special guest speakers will be 1st Lt. Jonathan Reid with the Red Bulls Division and highly-decorated Vietnam veteran Mark Mulvihill.

Paul May 29, 2012 at 06:11 PM
What service members stand for... Perhaps Eagan Patch readers would like to see what those in military uniforms stand for. There are two commissioning ceremonies for new officers, conveniently here in the Twin Cities, every May. It may be too late to go see them this year, but here is the oath taken by Air Force officers (Navy, Marine Corps, & Army oaths differ only slightly, in an obvious place): "I < full name > , having been appointed an officer in the United States Air Force, do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic, and that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same. I take this obligation freely, without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion, and will well and faithfully discharge the duties of the office upon which I am about to enter, so Help me God." It is worth noting that the military officer's oath is to the Constitution, meaning to support & uphold the Rule of Law that the Constitution stands for and spells out. The American officer's oath is radically different from most military oaths throughout history, which tended to be personally to a leader. Our officers' oath is based upon our Constitution, especially on the oath found at the end of Article Two's Section 1, on the powers specified in the middle of paragraph 2 of Article Two's Section 2, and on President Washington's unscripted words "So help me God." at the end of his own oath.
David Henke May 29, 2012 at 06:16 PM
I'm young enough that I never saw any of the division and discord surrounding the Vietnam War, Paul, but I'm glad you took the time to post your thoughts about it. I agree that the attitude toward soldiers and their families is dynamically different now. Just look at the Yellow Ribbon initiatives for proof of that. I've heard from plenty of people who remember treatment of veterans during the Vietnam War and are committed to avoiding that with veterans from the current combat theaters.
Paul May 29, 2012 at 06:22 PM
And the Enlistment Oath, too. Eagan residents can perhaps witness enlistment oaths at verious times during the year. And, perhaps, the new soldiers, sailors, airmen, & marines, would appreciate the gesture of total strangers showing up to support thier decision to offer even up to their own lives, just like the young officers might. And, perhaps the watery-eyed parents, seeing thier kids become adults and shoulder responsibilities in thier own right, might appreciate the community support at such a momentous event. Here is the army enlistment oath (again, the other services are only slightly different, at obvious places): "I, < full name > , do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; and that I will obey the orders of the President of the United States and the orders of the officers appointed over me, according to regulations and the Uniform Code of Military Justice. So help me God." Once again, note the sole focus is on upholding the Constitution, upholding all of us and our Rule of Law and unalienable rights. Like the officers, and like all of us civilians, the enlisted are humans and do make mistakes. But this oath (and the officers' oath) calls all those in uniform to a high standard. It is humbling to note that errors are truly exceptions, and that fact is something we can thank them for.
Paul May 29, 2012 at 08:04 PM
You're welcome. Also, please feel free to use the quoted Commisioning Oath and Enlistment Oath whenever either/both should be of use. I think it's important that citizens know precisely what our military members swear to when they put on the uniform. Each oath is kind of unique in history, and each is a primary source of discipline in the minds of all who volunteer to wear the uniform to serve something bigger than themselves.
Paul May 29, 2012 at 08:29 PM
One thing we can do, "beyond the yellow ribbon", is to find ways to consider military resumes on a level playing field with civilian resumes, when the veterans hang up the uniform and seek to resume their civilian status among the rest of us. Military resumes do look different, even though outprocessing teaches how to civilianize them. HR often doesn't bother to consider equivalencies even when the military training is actually more demanding than the job-specified civilian certifications. Washington Post reports 44% of veterans are unemployed. As many veterans commit suicide each year (6,500) as the total that have died in action in all ten years in both Iraq & Afghanistan combined. Why? From experience, I suggest the single biggest reason is inability to pay the bills after hanging up the uniform. What is left, after unemployment, using up savings, bankruptcy, and family breakups, after fighting for the country that won't see experience & certifications that translate to civilian life? Most veterans are personally tough, and learn to be tougher. But everybody has limits. Inability to even get an interview can cut to one's core, especially when knowing all the skills one can provide. Though touching, heartfelt words and occasional desert treats don't pay bills. Spending the extra time in the HR departments, to give equal consideration to military certifications & experiences, would make the yellow ribbon an actual welcome home: not a preference; an equal chance to compete.


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