WASHINGTON – Standing at the wall memorializing America's fallen soldiers in Vietnam, former Sen. Bob Dole called on the nation Monday to win the war on terrorism and declared "we were underestimated on Sept. 11."
"Those who want nothing more than to destroy democracy can hardly be expected to understand democracy," Dole, the former Republican presidential candidate in 1996, told a group of Vietnam veterans on Memorial Day.
"We are at war" and "we will win it," Dole said.
Dole referred to the bravery exhibited by Americans in the Sept. 11 attacks and in combat in Afghanistan, concluding that "we're now living ... in the greatest generation."
Dole told the Vietnam-era veterans that widespread opposition to U.S. involvement in Vietnam "made your task even more difficult" than that of World War II combat veterans. Dole was wounded in World War II combat.
Three names were added to the Vietnam memorial wall last week after it was determined their deaths were related to Vietnam service. There now are 58,229 names of those killed or missing in action.
Added were: Pfc. William E. Johnson Sr., Cleveland, who died Sept. 1, 1998; Sgt. Richard E. Toney, Bogalusa, La., Aug. 31, 1970 and Pfc. Paul P. Zylko, Passaic, N.J., Sept. 8, 1999. All served in the Army.
Separately, Deputy Defense Secretary Paul Wolfowitz appeared at the Tomb of the Unknowns in Arlington, Va., saying the country's future turns on the outcome of the war against terrorism.
"We face another hour of great testing and yes, liberty — our way of life — is once again in peril," said Wolfowitz. "I've long believed that America's greatest power ... is what it stands for."