The City of Lakewood will honor local veterans of the Vietnam War with a special ceremony at Monday’s City Council meeting.
Mayor Doug Richardson will make a proclamation to recognize this month as “Welcome Home Vietnam Veterans Month,” in light of the city’s large Vietnam veteran population.
The city’s proclamation comes on the heels of the U.S. Senate declaring last Wednesday as “Welcome Home Vietnam Veterans Day.” The last U.S. service members left Vietnam 35 years ago, on April 30, 1975, the day the American Embassy was finally vacated.
Officials say they wanted to continue to honor its large local Vietnam veterans population, much of which didn’t get the proper gratitude when it returned from war.
“We’ve done a good job welcoming our military home from Iraq and Afghanistan,” Richardson, a veteran himself, said in a statement. “Many Americans recognize that those who served in Vietnam never received that same recognition or gratitude.”
Vietnam veterans, friends and family are encouraged to attend the ceremony, which is scheduled 7 p.m., Monday, at Lakewood City Hall, 6000 Main Street SW. Refreshments will follow.
Here is the full press release:
Lakewood to Recognize Vietnam Veterans
Mayor to proclaim April as “Welcome Home Vietnam Veterans Month”
LAKEWOOD, WA – During the next regular council meeting on April 5th at 7pm at City Hall, Lakewood Mayor Doug Richardson will proclaim April 2010 as “Welcome Home Vietnam Veterans Month.”
Many cities and states are belatedly recognizing the sacrifices and countless contributions of our Vietnam Veterans with a recognition day toward the end of March. The United States Senate recently and unanimously passed a resolution declaring today, March 30th, 2010 as “Welcome Home Vietnam Veterans Day.”
The City of Lakewood chose to honor Vietnam Veterans during the entire month of April in light of the large veteran population in Lakewood. The last U.S. service-members departed Vietnam 35 years ago on April 30, 1975 when the American Embassy was finally vacated.
Mayor Richardson remarked that “we’ve done a good job welcoming our military home from Iraq and Afghanistan. Many Americans recognize that those who served in Vietnam never received that same recognition or gratitude.” Richardson further pointed out that many of Lakewood’s founding citizens such as the late Colonel Gerald Auger, the late Colonel Bill Kittrell, Mayor Emeritus Bill Harrison, Lakewood’s first mayor and a retired lieutenant general, and many others were Vietnam veterans. “Despite some stereo-typing, these citizens epitomize the typical Vietnam veteran – people who came home from that war changed but still committed to raising families, serving their communities, and moving the nation forward. We have the best military in the world today because of our Vietnam veterans.”
All Vietnam veterans and friends of Vietnam veterans from Lakewood and beyond are encouraged to attend the Council meeting on April 5th. Refreshments will be served after the proclamation is presented.