Colorado’s 50th Vietnam War Anniversary Ceremony: WELCOME HOME! Flags lined the way to the staging area for the Vietnam War Commemoration Ceremony. It was held at Ft. Logan’s National Cemetery in Denver on March 29th. Over two hundred people joined together to acknowledge and honor our military veterans for the 50th Vietnam War Anniversary. It was a special day for our Vietnam Veterans who served. The salutation, “Welcome home brother,” could be heard again and again as veterans greeted each other. A Vietnam Veteran lapel pin was presented to each veteran to recognize, thank and honor their service during the Vietnam War period.
Navy Vietnam Veterans: Cliff Fejfar, & Mike Jarboe. The day provided plenty of opportunity for all branches of service to come together. The camaraderie shared with their wartime contemporaries was a pleasure to witness. War stories were heard throughout the day. A mixture of laughter and tears were shared. One Veteran was wearing a shirt that read, “You should have seen it in color.”
LTC (Ret) Mitch Utterback read Vietnam War era branch narratives for the Army, Navy, Marines, Air Force, and the Coast Guard, asking veterans to stand while their branch of service was acknowledged. Each narrative recanted important military strategies that helped the civilian audience appreciate what the veterans had endured. The 101st Army Band played an “Armed Forces Medley,” for each branch of service.
The 50th Vietnam War Anniversary Ceremony was a two hour program. Many distinguished speakers thanked and honored our Vietnam Veterans during this long overdue day of recognition. SGT Arthur Lee “Artie” Guerrero, enhanced the day with his heartfelt comments regarding how now should be a time for healing. “We have mourned long enough!” He stated that today’s service members are standing on the shoulders of our Vietnam Veterans, and they should feel proud of themselves. Many were nodding their heads during his rendition of what it was like in combat. Artie also asked for letters to be written to the families who lost a loved one. A letter that would acknowledge their sacrifice and help them heal.
Mrs. Jeanette Early from Gold Star Wives of Colorado also gave remembrance remarks. She was an important reminder of how many families were left to shoulder the responsibilities of carrying on, after a service member’s death. Her main message: Welcome Home!
All in all, this beautiful spring day was filled with many special moments. Most importantly, to our Vietnam Veterans, “A Grateful Nation Thanks and Honors YOU!”
If you are searching for more information regarding Vietnam Veterans of America-Denver Chapter 1071, please visit: vva1071.org
In conclusion, I responded to SGT Arthur Lee Guerrero’s request to write a letter to a family who lost a loved one. After searching Denver’s list of names, I recognized the last name of a friend. He provided the current contact information needed. It was my privilege to acknowledge this family. If you know of someone who would also appreciate a letter, please email their information to StarSpangledBoomerang@gmail.com. I would be honored to write to them. Michelle Adams