Who Will Remember the Fallen from the Vietnam War?

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This Memorial Day weekend Pensacola will honor the fallen by decorating the graves of the 91 men buried at Barrancas National Cemetery who gave all during the Vietnam War. Steve Dracos, a Vietnam veteran, and organizer of Pensacola Salutes the Fallen recently completed the task of identifying the Vietnam casualties who are buried at Barrancas.

As time goes by, who will be there to remember?

This Memorial Day weekend Pensacola will honor the fallen from the Vietnam War who are buried at Barrancas National Cemetery by decorating the graves of those who gave all. Steve Dracos, a Vietnam veteran who is originally from Pensacola, is encouraging a new legacy of remembrance for those who made the ultimate sacrifice in service to their country.

Dracos said, “Many of the casualties of the war were young and single. They had no children. Their parents are deceased. Their siblings are aging. I began to wonder about how their sacrifice would be remembered as time goes on. There are lists of those who died in combat and there are lists of gravesite locations, but there is currently no way to cross-reference those lists.”

After walking the cemetery and then cross-checking the grave site information with the Vietnam Memorial Wall website, Dracos and his wife compiled a list of 91 who gave all. Most of the Vietnam casualties buried at Barrancas are from Northwest Florida. The list may, however, not be complete. The electronic version of the list includes a link to each casualty's listing on the Vietnam Memorial Wall website. Anyone who would like a list can send an email to: info(at)pensacolasalutesthefallen(dot)com and they will receive a return email with the list attached. Printed copies are available at the Barrancas National Cemetery.

Dracos started this project in Pensacola because he says, “This is one of the most patriotic cities in the country.” His hope is that organizations, churches, families, and groups of friends will take flowers or greenery to the cemetery on Memorial Day weekend and decorate the graves of the fallen and/or perhaps post a photo on the Vietnam Memorial Wall website so others will know that the fallen have not been forgotten. He is very appreciative of those who have helped spread the word about the project: The Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts, American Legion Post 340, the Public Affairs Office at Pensacola Naval Air Station and Judge Gary Bergosh. He is also grateful for the assistance of the staff at Barrancas National Cemetery.

There are approximately 300 national cemeteries. Dracos hopes to compile lists for every cemetery and eventually do the same for every war and conflict. He is seeking the cooperation of government officials to make the necessary database records available.

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Beverly Dracos
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