Washington Capitals captain Chris Clark and defensemen Tom Poti
and Brian Pothier took turns listing off names of Vietnam veterans at the “Reading of the Names,” at the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Friday afternoon. Hosted on a stage in front of the memorial wall, each player read off the names of 30 heroes lost during the war to commemorate the 25th anniversary of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial. Each and every one of the 58,256 names inscribed on the wall will be read aloud during the ceremony, which takes place over the course a four-day, 65-hour period.
Clark, Pothier and Poti were each born in the United States, with Clark hailing from Connecticut, while Pothier and Poti were born in Massachusetts. All three players were honored to be part in the reading of the names ceremony, which has taken place only three other times in history.
“This was a really big deal,” commented Clark. “To be a part of history like this is really special. It’s nice to be able to show appreciation to the people who protect our country. I am honored to have been a part of this.”
The cold and drizzly fall weather didn’t keep people from coming out to walk alongside the memorial. Veterans greeted each other with familiar hugs, while others quietly read the names listed on the wall. A single solemn voice slowly reading off names of soldiers lost at war will be the only sound ringing clear at the memorial until the conclusion of the event on Saturday, Nov. 10.