Thank you for your service and sacrifice

CHESTERTOWN — Kent County saluted Vietnam War-era veterans and their families Friday night in a solemn ceremony in the downtown Memorial Park here.

About 240 people turned out on this cool, breezy evening.

By the 6 o’clock start, a shadow was being cast by nearby Emmanuel Episcopal Church.

The Vietnam War Veterans Recognition Act of 2017, signed into law by then-President Donald Trump, designates March 29 as National Vietnam War Veterans Day to thank and honor veterans and their families for their service and sacrifices.

The date of March 29 was chosen to be observed in perpetuity because March 29, 1973 was the day the last U.S. troops left South Vietnam.

Around this same day, Hanoi, then the capital of North Vietnam, released the last of its acknowledged prisoners of war.

This is the third National Vietnam War Veterans Day observance in Kent County.

Vietnam combat veteran Lawrence Wilkerson, a retired Army colonel who served as Secretary of State Colin Powell’s chief of staff from 2002 until 2005, delivered the keynote address.

Commemorative lapel pins were presented to the Gold Star families of the five area servicemen who were killed in Vietnam; the spouses of Vietnam War-era veterans who have since died; and all who served during the Vietnam War era (Nov. 1, 1955 to May 15, 1975).

A write-up of the event along with additional photos will appear in a subsequent edition of The Evening Enterprise.

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