On Monday, May 7th, 2018, several hundred Vietnam Veterans departed on the Bucks County Tour of Honor. They filled five large buses and departed from Parx Casino at 6AM. The group reached the World War II Memorial at 9:45AM in DC. Upon exiting the vehicles, they were surrounded by hordes of children of all ages who fought to thank them, congratulate them and shake their hands. The emotions of these kids were obvious, and no doubt reflected values learned at home regarding courage and love of country. The next stop was Arlington Cemetery and then the Air Force Memorial. The final visit was to the very painfully moving Vietnam War Memorial.
The buses then departed Washington, DC, to return home. Upon reaching within miles of the casino, they were joined by hundreds of vehicles whose function was to escort the buses and ensure an open and clear road on I-95. These included hundreds of police cars, firefighting equipment, helicopters and personnel manning the gear.
Each of the many bridges under which the vehicles passed was covered with emergency responders in uniform in full salute to each of the veterans. This final sequence of events on our return was explained by the officials involved in the event. It was to make up for the terrible greetings these veterans received on their return home after the war. Many of us were cursed, spat upon and even our children heard their fathers labeled as “baby killers”. On several occasions, we were told to avoid wearing our uniforms in public to avoid them being defiled. Grateful thanks are due to the many emergency responders for their working throughout the entire event and avoiding any unpleasant incidents. They are dedicated professionals who constitute a great source of pride in living in Bucks County.
None of us who took part in the event will ever forget it.
— By Ernie Cohen, MD and Bill Kurz