City of Lancaster Honors Local Vietnam Veterans with Special Ceremony
The City of Lancaster, in partnership with the United States of America Vietnam War Commemoration, honored local Vietnam Veterans with a special ceremony at American Heroes Park. “The Lancaster City Council joins together with the Antelope Valley community, and indeed the entire nation, in honoring the many brave Americans who served in the Vietnam War,” said Lancaster Mayor R. Rex Parris. “We thank and honor our Vietnam Veterans for their dedicated service to our nation, their courage and fortitude, and their selfless sacrifice.” During the event, Vietnam Veterans in attendance were recognized and presented with official USA Vietnam War Commemoration Vietnam Veteran lapel pins. The ceremony also paid homage to those who lost their lives in the Vietnam War. The names of the fallen from the Antelope Valley were reverently read, followed by the playing of Taps, and a solemn moment of silence. Prominently displayed throughout the event was The AV 76 Panel, which honors the 76 service members from the Antelope Valley region who gave their lives for their country in the Vietnam War. “I am deeply honored to take part in such a historic and moving event,” said ceremony emcee, Dennis Anderson, an Army Veteran and Public Relations officer for High Desert Medical Group. “The Vietnam War generation of veterans carried the enormous burden of being called to fight what became an unpopular war, and then being blamed for it. Their sacrifice, their bravery, their loss was as great as any of the other great generations who have served our nation. We owe them our thanks.” Point Man Ministries, Antelope Valley, the organization which manages The AV 76 Panel, was recognized at yesterday evening’s City Council meeting for participating in the ceremony, as well as providing ongoing service to the local veteran community. “Thank you to the City of Lancaster for hosting this special ceremony in honor of Vietnam Veterans. Since many of us did not receive this kind of reception from our nation when we returned home from Vietnam, this event is very meaningful to myself and my fellow veterans,” Mike Bertell, President of Point Man Ministries, Antelope Valley, who served in the Army during the Vietnam War. “In remembrance of our brothers who did not return, Point Man Ministries and the City of Lancaster together invite the community to come and view The AV 76 Panel at City Hall.” The AV 76 Panel will be showcased in the South lobby of Lancaster City Hall for the week following the Commemoration ceremony (March 23-30). The community is encouraged to view the memorial in observance of Vietnam Veterans Day (celebrated by states throughout the nation on March 29/30). City Hall, located at 44933 Fern Avenue, is open from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m., Monday through Thursday; and Fridays from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. About The U.S.A. Vietnam War Commemoration The U.S.A. Vietnam War Commemoration partners with federal, state, and local organizations to recognize the 50th anniversary of the Vietnam War. By presidential proclamation, the Commemoration officially began on Memorial Day 2012, and will extend through Veterans Day 2025 (marking the 50th year since the last U.S. personnel were evacuated from Saigon in 1975). Authorized by Congress and administered by the Department of Defense, the program’s over-arching mission is to do what is right: thank and honor our Vietnam veterans and their families for their service and sacrifice. More than 9,600 organizations throughout the country have become official Commemorative Partners, committed to assisting the nation in thanking and honoring the 7.2 million living Vietnam Veterans, as well as the families of all 9 million who served. The Commemoration encourages Partners to conduct at least two events per year for a three-year period which distinctly thank and honor local Vietnam Veterans and their families. Today’s ceremony was the City of Lancaster’s first event as a Commemorative Partner.