Vietnam War Veterans Day is March 29

CHESTERTOWN — This is a reminder that Kent County will honor veterans of the Vietnam War era and their families on Friday night, March 29 in the downtown Memorial Park of Chestertown.

The event, which begins at 6 p.m., is expected to last about an hour.

The public is encouraged to attend.

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

Wilkerson is a Vietnam combat veteran.

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

The tentative schedule includes opening remarks from Chestertown resident Peter Sweetser, who heads up the planning committee; presentation of the colors by a Marine Corps color guard; prayers; singing of the national anthem; recitation of the Pledge of Allegiance; and recognition of the participating organizations and Vietnam War Veterans Day commemoration partners.

Following remarks from the guest speaker, there will be a special pinning ceremony to honor 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.

Kent County’s fallen heroes are: Capt. Clarence Matthews Newcomb, 37, of Chestertown; PFC Virgil Henry Wilson Jr., 20, of Golts; Sgt. Carl Joseph Crew, 21, of Betterton; PFC Robert Julian Davis Jr., 20, of Galena; and Spec 4 Raymond Lester Elliott Jr., 20, of Pondtown.

The commemorative pin features the message, “A Grateful Nation Thanks and Honors You.”

Anyone who received a lapel pin last year or the year before should wear it to this year’s ceremony.

Also, all attendees are encouraged to bring a Vietnam-era veteran with them.

Nationally, this is the seventh edition of the solemn event, which honors all veterans who served on active duty in the U.S. Armed Forces at any time during what is considered the Vietnam War era, Nov. 1, 1955 to May 15, 1975 — regardless of location.


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