The Veterans Park of Effingham County is marking the 10th anniversary of its dedication with a special Veterans Day program, which will be held Sunday starting at 4 p.m.
The Veterans Park is being recognized as a commemorative partner with the national program to recognize the 50th anniversary of the Vietnam War. Lt. Gen. (ret.) Claude M. Kicklighter, the director of the Department of Defense’s 50th anniversary commemoration program, will be the keynote speaker at Sunday’s Veterans Day observance at Veterans Park.
Kicklighter, a Vietnam veteran who served for 35 years in the Army, served as the executive director of the 50th anniversary of World War II commemoration committee. He also provided oversight for the writing of the plan for the commemoration of the 50th anniversary of the Korean War.
“We are pleased our citizens and our park can be a part of this national effort to properly thank those citizens who gave of their time, their blood and, some, their lives,” said Ruth Lee of the Veterans Park board of directors. “We owe a debt of gratitude to those who served and to the families of those that gave the last full measure on the battlefield.”
As part of Sunday’s ceremony, family members of Effingham residents killed in action during the Vietnam War will receive Gold Star certificates, signifying the loss of their loved one in combat.
State Rep.-elect Bill Hitchens, a former Marine, will deliver the welcome and Col. (ret.) Lamar Crosby, also a Vietnam veteran, will introduce Lt. Gen. Kicklighter.
The DoD Vietnam 50th Anniversary Commemoration Program is partnered with other federal agencies, veterans groups, state, local government and non-government organizations to:
• Thank and honor veterans of the Vietnam War, including personnel who were held as prisoners of war or listed as missing in action, for their service and sacrifice on behalf of the United States and to thank and honor the families of these veterans.
• Highlight the service of the armed forces during the Vietnam War and the contributions of federal agencies and governmental and non-governmental organizations that served with, or in support of, the armed forces.
• Pay tribute to the contributions made on the home front by the people of the U.S. during the Vietnam War.
• Highlight the advances in technology, science, and medicine related to the military research conducted during the Vietnam War.
• Recognize the contributions and sacrifices made by U.S. allies during the Vietnam War.
For more information, call 877-387-9951 or visit the official Web site at www.vietnamwar50th.com.
Veterans Day Ceremony
• When: Nov. 11, 4 p.m.
• Where: Veterans Park, Springfield
• Of note: Families of servicemen who were killed in Vietnam will receive a Gold Star certificate, signifying the loss of their loved one. Those from Effingham County who were killed in the Vietnam War were:
James H. Bush Jr.
Charles J. Evans
James D. Fox
Henry Mauzon Gnann
Willie Gerald Jones
James A. Lanier
John N. Morris
David W Windsor Jr.
Frankie Young Jr.