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Memorial Day Message: We Must Help Each Other

American and POW-MIA flags cover every inch of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Eden Park. Men, women and children place them solemnly, some with tears in their eyes, at the end of the annual Memorial Day ceremony.Members of Vietnam Veterans of America Chapter 10 host the event, complete with rifle salute, music from the UC Bearcat Bands, and a guest speaker.

Ohio Sen. Lou Terhar says of the high veteran suicide rate, "It must be stopped."
Credit Tana Weingartner / WVXU
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Ohio Sen. Lou Terhar says of the high veteran suicide rate, "It must be stopped."

Ohio Sen. Lou Terhar, a retired Navy commander and Vietnam Veteran, addressed the gathering. Keeping his remarks brief, Terhar encouraged everyone to help reduce the suicide rate among veterans.

"It must be stopped," Terhar said of the increasing rate of veterans taking their own lives.

The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs reports in the past decade veterans' suicide surpassed civilians' for the first time.

A veteran is best able to identify another veteran in trouble, Terhar said. "We must help each other."

Mike Bruner, Marcus Bland, Nathan Childs, Jason Brown, and William Clemmons pose in front of the Vietnam War Memorial. They say they live together at Cincinnati's Joseph House for veterans.
Credit Tana Weingartner / WVXU
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Mike Bruner, Marcus Bland, Nathan Childs, Jason Brown, and William Clemmons pose in front of the Vietnam War Memorial. They say they live together at Cincinnati's Joseph House for veterans.

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An honor guard posts the colors to start the Memorial Day ceremony in Eden Park.
Tana Weingartner / WVXU
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An honor guard posts the colors to start the Memorial Day ceremony in Eden Park.
Two veterans place honor wreaths at the base of the memorial.
Tana Weingartner / WVXU
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Two veterans place honor wreaths at the base of the memorial.
Hundreds of flags are placed at the base of the memorial to honor those who "gave their lives for their country."
Tana Weingartner / WVXU
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Hundreds of flags are placed at the base of the memorial to honor those who "gave their lives for their country."
This little girl applauded with delight as veterans from each war or service era were asked to stand and be recognized.
Tana Weingartner / WVXU
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This little girl applauded with delight as veterans from each war or service era were asked to stand and be recognized.