ELMIRA,N.Y.(WENY)-- It has been 43 years since the Vietnam war, a war that took the lives of roughly 53,000 U.S. troops. For the first time ever Elmira observed National Vietnam War Veterans Day. 

The event took place at the  Woodlawn National Cemetery where the Vietnam Veterans Chapter 803 Color Guard and Marine Corp League rifle squad were in attendance to show their respects.  Live taps were also performed by Carl Berman and Mike Cuomo, a performance that Don Haus,  171 Airborne Vietnam veteran has trouble hearing. 

“It bothers me hearing Taps because it is the final resting of the soldiers,” said Haus. 

Taps; just 24 notes played by using the trumpet was originally the infantry call for lights out up until the civil war and similarly now it is played at military funerals and memorials, just like the one that took place in Elmira on March 29th. 

While memories of lost friends and fallen soldiers saddened Haus, he said he would never miss a chance to show his respect for those who gave their lives fighting for the United States of America. 

“I come for anything I can, for our veterans, to remember them,” said Haus. 

Mark Goldman, BM1 Vietnam veteran of the U.S. The Navy shared that sentiment and that is why he stopped by the Woodlawn National Cemetery on National Vietnam War Veterans Day, to share his story and pay his respects. 

“We passed on my ship, the USS Mona Loa, we passed thirty thousand tons of ammunition and without us all working together, it would never have worked,” said Goldman. 

Both Goldman and Haus, survivors of a long, costly and divisive conflict believe it is important for community members young and old to show their respect for veterans not only on days of remembrance but all throughout the year. 

With true emotion and love for his fallen friends Goldman finished by saying:

“This is a beautiful national cemetery and I hope someday that I will be here when the time comes,” Goldman.