DeKalb IL – The Mayor and City Council members will honor Vietnam-era veterans on Monday, March 27th at the scheduled City Council meeting. This meeting will start at 6:00 PM and be held at the DeKalb Library. All three (3) DeKalb Veterans organizations will be honored: DeKalb American Legion, DeKalb 40&8 Veteran Organizations, and DeKalb AMVETS Organizations. Vietnam-era veterans from these three (3) organizations will in attendance to accept the proclamations. (Please let Michael Embrey know if you are attending).
NOTE: The City of DeKalb (IL) will acknowledge our Vietnam-Era Veterans at the Monday, March 27th City Council Meeting (6:00 PM). The Mayor will present a proclamation to each of our three (3) City of DeKalb Veteran Organizations.
Below is a sample of some of the contents of the proclamation.
WHEREAS, in 1982, the Vietnam Veterans Memorial was dedicated in Washington, DC to commemorate those members of the U.S. Armed Forces who died or were declared missing-in-action in Vietnam; and
WHEREAS, members of the U.S. Armed Forces who served bravely and faithfully for the U.S. during the Vietnam War era were caught upon their return home in the crossfire of public debate about the involvement of the U.S. Vietnam War; and
WHEREAS, March 29, 2023, is the 50th anniversary of the day that combat and combat support units withdrew completely from South Vietnam; and
WHEREAS, veterans of the Vietnam War era faithfully served and contributed to the military and, in the 50 years since, have faithfully served and contributed to their communities since returning home; and
WHEREAS, Vietnam War veterans have worked for the last 50 years to promote awareness of the importance of communities empowering veterans and the necessity of helping veterans readjust to civilian life after military service; and
WHEREAS, Vietnam War veterans have worked to assist veterans returning from other conflicts, including wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, and to support the reintegration of younger veterans into civilian life; and
WHEREAS, the establishment of a day to welcome home Vietnam era veterans is an appropriate way to honor those members of the U.S. Armed Forces who served during the Vietnam War era; and
WHEREAS, Vietnam Veterans Day commemorates the hardships suffered and sacrifices made by nine million Americans during the Vietnam War, including their families who supported them before and after the war.
NOW, THEREFORE, I, Cohen Barnes, Mayor of the City of DeKalb, along with the City of DeKalb City Council, honor this 50th anniversary of Vietnam Veteran’s Day and recognize the veterans for their service and sacrifice during that conflict.
Honoring Vietnam-Era Veterans – March 29th
The Vietnam War’s place in our national story is remembered on March 29, a day when most schools and workplaces will stay open, and observances are typically kept among local veteran’s organizations. We know the significance of National Vietnam War Veterans Day, which has been observed since 2017, when President Trump signed the Vietnam War Veterans Recognition Act. At our local American Legion Post 66 (1204 S. 4th St.) at 5:00 PM, TAPS will be played to honor and give respect to all our Veterans, more important to honor our Vietnam-era Veterans.
This year marks the 50th anniversary of the day the last U.S. combat troops departed from Vietnam, closing the curtain on a long and complicated time in world history. (Many of us remember that scene as the last helicopter departed Saigon.)
The first known American fatality from the Vietnam War was Air Force Tech. Sgt. Richard B. Fitzgibbon, who made the ultimate sacrifice on June 8, 1956. On Sept. 7, 1965, his son, Marine Lance Cpl. Richard B. Fitzgibbon III, would make the same sacrifice. They both rest eternally at Blue Hill Cemetery in Braintree, Mass. The names of more than 58,000 Americans would eventually be etched for eternity on the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Wall in Washington.
In a recent report 2,709,918 Americans served in Vietnam, this number represents 9.7% of their generation. Peak troop strength in Vietnam: 543,482 (April 30, 1968). As of this date, The American War Library estimates that approximately 610,000 Americans who served on land in Vietnam or in the air over Vietnam between 1954 and 1975 are alive today. And approximately 164,000 Americans who served at sea in Vietnam waters are alive today. Vietnam veterans are dying at the rate of 390 deaths each day.
Even after Saigon fell, we continued – and still continue – to lose more of our veteran family to Agent Orange-related illnesses, PTSD, and other wounds of war taking their toll more and more as the years pass. Please do not forget the 1,500 MIA/POWs that never returned home.
Please visit the Vietnam Memorial Bench at the DeKalb Veteran Memorial Plaza on the north side of the Elks Lodge on Annie Glidden Road in DeKalb. Another veteran honor site is the “Soldiers and Sailor’s Clock” in downtown DeKalb (1st & Lincoln Highway).
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