March 29, 2021 is the 4th Annual National Vietnam War Veterans Day. This day was signed into law by 45th U.S. President Donald J. Trump as a part of The Vietnam War Veterans Recognition Act of 2017.
The Temple Chamber of Commerce, along with the Association of the United States Army/Central Texas-Fort Hood are Commemorative Partners with the United States of America Vietnam War Commemoration.
As authorized by the United States Congress and on behalf of a Nation, we are doing now what should have been done 50 years ago. That is to formally thank and honor our Vietnam Veterans and their families for their service and sacrifice.
The Temple Chamber of Commerce honored 5 Vietnam Veterans at a pinning program this year. US Navy Petty Officer Third Class Dale Edmonds, US Navy Fireman Larry Hare, US Marines Private Maurice Poole, and United States Navy Hiram Reynolds.
Thanking and honoring veterans and their families is the right thing to do. We Americans appreciate Veteran’s service and support of the United States of America.
The Commemoration focuses on specifically thanking and honoring our 7.2 million living Vietnam Veterans and the 9 million families of those who served during the Vietnam War period. The Commemoration recognizes all Vietnam veterans who served on active duty in the US Armed Forces from November 1, 1955 to May 15, 1975 regardless of duty location or branch of service. No distinction is made between veterans who served in-country or who were stationed elsewhere during that period. All were called to serve, and many of these veterans served honorably.
The lapel pin contains,
The Eagle – The eagle represents courage, honor and dedicated service to our nation. As one of the most recognition and notable American symbols, it is emblazoned with distinction on numerous military
Blue circle – Blue matches the canton of the American flag and signifies vigilance, perseverance, and justice. The circle shape and blue color also match the official seal of the commemoration.
Laurel wreath – A time-honored symbol representing victory, integrity, and strength
Stripes – The stripes behind the eagle represent the American flag.
Stars – The six stars represent the six allies who served, sacrificed, and fought alongside one another: Australia, New Zealand, the Philippines, the Republic of Korea, Thailand, and the United States.
Message – “A grateful nation thanks and honors you” is embossed on the back, closest to the heart of the wearer. Also, the official name of the commemoration is included to remind each veteran that this is a national initiative, and this lapel pin is the nation’s lasting memento of thanks.
The Temple Chamber of Commerce has proudly hosted a celebration of the military and veterans the past 35 years. Due to the pandemic, the 36th annual event was reimagined as a virtual salute to honor those on the front lines of the COVID-19 battle. This recognition will include the military (13th ESC/Fort Hood, 1st Medical Brigade/Fort Hood, 36th Sustainment Brigade/TxANG), veterans, JROTC, law enforcement, fire & rescue, EMS, and medical/health care professionals.
UNITY WITHIN COMMUNITY is the theme for the 36th Military & First Responder Salute.
The traditional components of the Military Appreciation Luncheon such as the presentation and retirement of the Colors, National Anthem, Vietnam Era Veteran pinning, patriotic music, and messages of support are being recorded to create the virtual program.
Also, videos have been requested from various partners to ensure an impactful virtual program sharing the message of how the partners have waged “war” against the pandemic.
Community and military leaders have been asked to provide a short “shout-out” to recognize our honored guests for their engagement and leadership in the community.
Replacing the annual luncheon, the Chamber and HEB are planning LUNCH TO GO outside of the Santa Fe Business Center on October 27, 2020, from 10:30 am - 2:00 pm (while supplies last).
Veteran organizations, food kitchens, shelters, and sponsors will have an opportunity to pre-order lunch for pick-up. The general public, including walk-ups, will be accommodated with LUNCH TO GO either using a drive-up process or to-go table.
Video footage will be taken of LUNCH TO GO to include in the virtual presentation.
The inaugural airing of the finished product will occur on Tuesday, November 10, on the Temple Chamber of Commerce YouTube channel.
The overall video will be approximately 30-45 minutes in length. It will mix a message that is mindful of the struggles all have endured since early March, and the importance of the Greater Temple community bonding together to help our neighbors.
Photos from filming