December 2, 2023| | mooadmin
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For the second year in a row Kent County will observe National Vietnam War Veterans Day on March 29 in the downtown Memorial Park, Chestertown.
Organizers of the inaugural event here in 2022 had expected 50 or so people, but the turnout was six times that.
“If you didn’t come last year, don’t miss this year,” said Peter Sweetser of Chestertown, who has helped to organize the event locally.
He added, “If you came last year, come again and bring at least one friend who is a Vietnam War period veteran who wasn’t there last year.”
The local observance of National Vietnam War Veterans Day is being spearheaded by Frank M. Jarman American Legion Post 36 of Chestertown and Sumner Hall.
Washington College’s Kappa Sigma fraternity also has joined the initiative for 2023.
The leadership team consists of Sweetser, Post 36 Commander Paul Showalter and Larry Wilson, president of the Sumner Hall board of directors.
Phyllis Brown and Trish McGee also are members of the organizing committee.
The public is encouraged to attend the March 29 event, which begins at 6 p.m. and is expected to last about an hour.
The tentative schedule includes a posting of colors; an opening prayer; singing of the national anthem; remarks by Vietnam veterans and representatives of area Legion posts and the Old Kent Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution.
Following remarks, there will be a special pinning ceremony to honor the Gold Star families of the five area servicemen who were killed in action; the spouses of Vietnam War-era veterans who have since died; and all who served during the Vietnam War era.
The pin features the message, “A Grateful Nation Thanks and Honors You.”
Nationally, this is the sixth edition of the solemn event, which honors all veterans who served on active duty in the U.S. Armed Forces at any time during what is considered the Vietnam War era, Nov. 1, 1955 to May 15, 1975 — regardless of location.
This includes nurses and doctors too.
A statement on the vietnamwar50th.com website states: “We make no distinction between veterans who served in-country, in-theater, or who were stationed elsewhere during the Vietnam War period. All were called to serve and none could self-determine where they would serve.”
The Vietnam War Veterans Recognition Act of 2017, signed into law by President Donald Trump, designates March 29 as National Vietnam War Veterans Day to thank and honor veterans and their families for their service and sacrifices.
This special day joins six other military-centric annual observances: Armed Forces Day, Memorial Day, Independence Day, National Korean War Veterans Armistice Day, Navy Day and Veterans Day.
The date of March 29 was chosen to be observed in perpetuity because March 29, 1973 was the day the last U.S. troops left South Vietnam.
Last modified: April 19, 2023