Hamilton County and Tennessee Valley citizens will gather at noon next Wednesday at the Hamilton County Courthouse on Georgia Avenue to recognize Vietnam veterans and commemorate their service to the nation and the cause of liberty, equality and justice. The commemoration will occur on the south lawn of the Courthouse. If weather prohibits an outside event, the program will be moved to the rotunda of the historic courthouse.
The event is jointly sponsored by Hamilton County Government, Vietnam Veterans of America, Chapter #203, the Chattanooga Area Veterans Council and the Regents Council, and the National Society Daughters of the American Revolution.
All Vietnam veterans and family members will be recognized. March 29 was chosen for the national Vietnam Veterans Recognition Day because on March 29, 1973 the Military Assistance Command, Vietnam [MACV] was disbanded and the last U. S combat troops departed the Republic of Vietnam.
Officials said, "Hosting Vietnam Veterans Recognition Day on the 50th Anniversary of U.S. withdrawal is significant as our Vietnam veterans have long been unsung patriots. While setting aside a ‘recognition’ day may not fully heal the trauma and hardships they experienced in attempting to safeguard the right of the Vietnamese people to choose their own form of government, it is our hope that it will lessen the unwelcoming return to this country that many experienced. The sponsoring groups also hope that it will immortalize the honor our Vietnam and Vietnam era veterans’ service and that younger citizens will understand the continuing sacrifices the members of our armed forces make to secure liberty."
Speakers will include Hamilton County Mayor Weston Wamp, Hamilton County Commission Chairman Chip Baker, The Honorable Mike Dumitru, Circuit Court judge, Division II and Wayne Belk, chairman, Chattanooga Area Veterans Council.
The Honor Guard, Vietnam Veterans of America, Chapter 203 will post the VVA flag and provide the appropriate honors.
The NSDAR Chattanooga Chapter Regents - Pamela Randolph, Regents Council chairman; Gayle Burrows, Chickamauga Chapter; Meegan Burton, Judge David Campbell Chapter; Jennifer Sawyer Harvey, Chief John Ross Chapter; Tina Statom, Moccasin Bend Chapter; and Natalie Davis, Nancy Ward Chapter - will present the Hamilton County Patriot of the Year Award.
All citizens are encouraged to attend and outdoor seating will be provided. For more information, email firstname.lastname@example.org.