Vietnam memorial ceremony marks Veteran’s Day
Bagpipes played in the background as the names of more than 58,000 Vietnam war casualties echoed off the war memorial’s walls. The reading, which began Saturday, is expected to take about 65 hours ending on Veteran’s Day, Monday.
“Just hearing all of the names is overwhelming and kind of sad,” said Phil Greiner, a high school senior from Philadelphia. “Most of the people who went over (to Vietnam) were the same age, and that is why it is significant that we are reading the names.”
Greiner, one of hundreds of readers, said he attended the ceremony as part of a class project. Greiner said he was assigned the name of a solider who fought in the war, and after doing extensive research, he came to D.C. to find the soldier’s name on the wall.
People from around the country said they came to the District to honor friends and family who fought in the war or to recognize the holiday and enjoy the beautiful day.
“I saw (the war) happen,” said Ken Trautman, a veteran making his 13th visit to the wall. Trautman said he was honoring his best friend Thomas J. Riley by taking a pencil rubbing of Riley’s name from the wall.
“I’d rather be here than back at home,” Trautman said. “I can relate to people here even though a lot of my friends (back home) are veterans.”
A ceremony at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier at Arlington Cemetery will also take place Monday.
D.C. official charged with shielding a fugitive
An Advisory Neighborhood Commissioner has been convicted of conspiracy to shield a fugitive and to commit identification fraud. George Thomas Coumaris, 53, faces a possible a $250,000 fine and a prison term of five years, according to WJLA TV.
The station reported witnesses at the trial in U.S. District Court testified Coumaris conspired with Christopher Jenkins, who was wanted for parole violations. The conspiracy was aimed at providing Jenkins with two sets of identification.
Sniper suspect admits part in shootings
Accused sniper suspect John Lee Malvo, 17, admitted he was the triggerman in some of the sniper killings that terrorized the District last month, a Washington Post article reported.
According to the Post story Malvo admitted to killing F.B.I. analyst Linda Franklin Oct. 14 and provided information about other killings.
Malvo and John Allen Muhammad, 41, are charged in the shooting spree that left 13 dead in the Washington suburbs. They are also accused of shootings in Louisiana, Alabama and Georgia. In total they have been charged in connection with 21 shootings across the country.
In Virginia the two men have been charged under anti-terror laws, marking the first time they have been used.
According to the story, Malvo said he and Muhammad worked “like soldiers,” scouting the locations for the shootings and communicating with radios.