LITTLETON, Colo. (CBS4) – 50 years after his death the first soldier from Littleton to die in Vietnam is honored at Saint Mary’s Catholic School.
Lance Corporal Patrick Hannon graduated from the school in 1960 before enlisting in the marines five years later. A plaque has been placed there in his honor.
“He was very proud to be a marine trust me,” said Hannon’s twin brother Mike, one of those gathered to remember and honor the marine. “I mean at 20 years old what an experience to be the hero he was,” said Hannon.
The VFW post 46-66 marks the year of his birth and death. He died in battle one month away from the end of his first tour of duty.
The war in Vietnam took the lives of more than 58,000 Americans.
“He would’ve gone back even again how important was to him and to all of us, that freedom,” said Hannon.
Patrick Hannon wrote about that freedom in a poem he wrote called “The Plea,” which his brother recalled at the ceremony.
“If my time is here to be I ask a favor from you to me answer my one and only plea – keep America free,” said Hannon, reciting his brother’s work.
It is not a good feeling to have to kill,
But when your country’s in need, you know you will.
We’ve been in Viet Nam for several months now,
And we’re hardly ready to take our bow.
We’ve seen some fellow Marines go down,
But I’m sure each one is Heaven bound.
If my time is here to be,
I ask a favor from you to me.
Answer my one and only plea…
KEEP AMERICA FREE.