Dear Honored Family and Guests:
We are here today to celebrate and commemorate the life of our cherished compatriot and friend, Jose Ramos. Jose dedicated his life to his beloved country – the United States of America. As a decorated U.S. veteran and recipient of the Purple Heart, Jose is a hero, not only to the people of America but also to the citizens of Vietnam for whose freedom he valiantly fought.
Jose Ramos dedicated his service to heal the wounds of Vietnam and those of its people. By doing so, he sacrificed his youth for the liberty and security of both Vietnamese and his fellow Americans. After his injuries and discharge from the Army, Jose worked in the emergency rooms of the LA County USC Medical Center and the Martin Luther King Jr. Community Hospital. He retired in 1999.
Not merely a proud US soldier and Vietnam Era veteran, Jose was also a healer who selflessly and courageously healed the physically wounded in battle. Long after the war in Vietnam, Jose dedicated himself to healing wounded souls until the day he passed. For decades after returning from the war, this longtime Whittier resident was an advocate for Vietnam Veterans. In 1998, he rode in a Vietnam bicycle tour with other Vietnam US veterans. Ramos rode from Whittier to Washington D.C. in 2000, to ask President George W. Bush to proclaim March 30 as the holiday to remember Vietnam veterans. His relentless work and dedication resulted in the official recognition of March 30 as the Welcome Home Vietnam Veterans day in California.
Thanks to Jose and people like him, today on this saddest of days we American & Vietnamese Americans, both civilians and veterans feel the greatest love and unity among us since the day the last GI left Vietnam. We now realize that we did not fight for or because of Vietnam, rather we fought for the entire free world represented by Vietnam.
We give a long overdue thanks today to Jose and all US GIs, to America and the people of South Vietnam and their brave ARVN vets who stood by you then and are still standing by you today. We are equally grateful today for our current armed forces throughout the world.
As I look at all of us, I see a living Jose inside each one of us. Consequently, I am not going to say good bye to Jose; I am going to say hello to all of these Jose Ramos representatives who continue to deliver his message.
We pay tribute to Jose today, in appreciation of his dedication, courage and honor. It is in his memory that I humbly present his family with this flag of South Vietnam. Please accept this with our profound thanks as well as those of a grateful nation. May God bless you and all those who will be eternally thankful for his sacrifices. Thank you.