Vietnam veterans commemoration coming in March

First state-level commemoration to take place during four-day period.
Norwalk Reflector Staff
Feb 27, 2013


Preparations are in full swing for the commemoration of Vietnam Veterans Day in Ohio from March 26 to 29.

This year is the first state-level commemoration of the day enacted by the Ohio General Assembly and signed by Governor John Kasich last year. The Wall that Heals, panel discussions and special ceremonies highlight the four days.

The state commemoration also marks the 40th anniversary of the end of America’s role in the Vietnam War. The theme of the commemoration, expressed in the event’s logo, is to finally welcome home and honor all those who served there, and to remember those who didn’t make it back. Events will be held at the Ohio History Center at Interstate 71 and 17th Avenue and at the Statehouse.

The Ohio Department of Veterans Services (ODVS) and the Vietnam Veterans of America (VVA), Buckeye State Council, are joining together to sponsor the commemoration. A volunteer committee of veterans’ organizations and local officials has been working the past few months to make the event a reality. The Veterans of Foreign Wars Ohio Charities has also graciously underwritten a significant portion of the costs of the event.

“Vietnam veterans are grateful for this recognition,” said Ohio Department of Veterans Services Director Tom Moe, “They have not been properly honored, and many of my comrades were even vilified when they returned from the war. This is a way to honor and thank them that is long overdue.”

“I personally experienced a lot of negative feelings when I came back to the States from Vietnam,” VVA State Council President Tom Burke said. “Vietnam veterans did what was asked of us, just like veterans of every war throughout history. It’s a great feeling to be able to honor our service and our sacrifice.” 

The highlight of the four-day commemoration is the hosting of the traveling Vietnam Memorial Wall, known as the The Wall That Heals from Washington, D.C., at the Ohio History Center. The Wall, escorted by veteran motorcyclists from the Patriot Guard Riders and Rolling Thunder, will arrive at the Ohio History Center at about 2 p.m. on March 24 after journeying from the Ohio-Indiana border at Interstate 74 and then up Interstates 275 and 71 to Columbus.

A formal dinner will be held at the Statehouse, along with an opening ceremony at the Ohio History Center and a closing ceremony at the Statehouse. There will also be a final memorial ceremony at the Wall to close out the commemoration.

Another key component of the commemoration is education. Panel discussions will be held at the Ohio History Center from March 26 to 28. Separate panels will focus on the experiences of veterans, the suffering and endurance of prisoners of war, the roles played by female veterans, and a historical perspective on the war and its aftermath.

Following the panels, Vietnam veterans will be able to record their experiences in Living History interviews to be on permanent file at the Ohio History Center.

All events are open to veterans and the public. Volunteers are also needed to help reach out to veterans and veteran organizations, staff the events, greet veterans, provide services to veterans and their families who are in attendance, and several other functions.

The Ohio Department of Veterans Services’ web site contains a special section with a schedule of events, volunteer information and other details of the commemoration. To read more, click HERE.

“It’s important that we establish Vietnam Veteran’s Day so that the people of Ohio can unite in one voice and say that they are grateful and proud of the veterans of that conflict,” Director Moe said.

“It is a voice that is finally saying to them, ‘welcome home.’ “



Looking forward to honoring in these 4 days.
Thank You ALL each and everyday for your service and our freedom.
God Bless us all in the USA... the home of the free and the brave.

Kottage Kat

A long overdue and fitting honor for these veterans and the M I A's, P O W's and those who made the ultimate sacrifice
GOD BLESS THE USA, and thank you Ohio

jack langhals

Good for them,they deserve it.With the idiots that run this country we have only killed millions all over the world imposing our will on everyone else.We killed 34,000 in Korea,4700 in Iraq and 1.8 million people overall since 1988 in Afghanistan,58,000 troops in Vietnam and that is not counting the wounded.The real criminals should have been hung in Wash.We should hang our heads in shame for electing these fools.Armygirl we are no longer THE Home Of The Free,Brave yes!


To those of you that jeered and sneered, spat at and cursed me when I came home, I still stand proudly, do you?

jack langhals

I stand with you after 8 years of my youth for the Korean Police Action.The ones that should have been spat on were Kennedy,Johnson and Tricky Ricky.Tricky even ran on, he was going to end the war.

Kottage Kat

Thank you for your service. GOD BLESS YOU AND ALL OUR VIETNAM VETS. The most underappreciated group of vets. Had friend when I thanked him for his service cried, he said, other than family I was the first person who had thanked him in 30 years
Sad isn't it.

Kottage Kat

Would have done this much sooner, it was the first time I had seen him. Just to clarify


Brother In Law -
This does NOT sound like a Accident, but listed as a accidental homicide .
Ronald Parsley Monroeville Ohio

The information was pretty straight forward as I was working in the Company Office were some of the information was disseminated. Of course the Marine Corps had their own major investigation that I was not privy to.

Ron and another Marine had been assigned some evening transport runs with their trucks, I don’t remember if they drove separate trucks or were in the same truck. When they got back to the motor pool they took their weapons, M-14’s and headed back to their tents. Apparently the other Marine, made the statement: “I may not have a magazine in my rifle but how much do you want to bet I have a round in my chamber.” Ron then told him “Go ahead, then pull the trigger.”. The results of course were tragic. I was the same age as Ron, just 20 years old and also just married. The other Marine was our age also. They were just kids doing some very stupid things that kids do. The Marine responsible for the act was court martialed and served time in the brig in Vietnam . As I remember he got out just before I left for home in January of 1968. I would be interested to know what you were told by the Marine Corps.

We had an old “reel to reel” tape player that was playing the Sonny and Cher song “What now my love, now that you have left me” I have thought about this episode for the past 45 years every time I have heard that song. I obviously placed your sister in that song probably wondering the same thing.

I still remember when we were first assigned to our unit there in Dong Ha. We were in our compound, but we were still being very careful about where were walked because we did not want to step on any land mines. Of course there were none, but we were green and scared. I bet the other Marines in the area had a good laugh as they watched us carefully step around the very secured area. We shared our first meal together in Viet Nam . Grilled cheese sandwiches!

I pray that this note helps bring further closure to you and your family even years later and that any lingering pain will continue to diminish with God’s love.


The American people did not recocnize Nam-era veterns, neither did the American Legion or VFW.
This is how Viet Nam Veterns came about.


FYI: Chicago had a parade for Vietnam vets yrs. ago. They were well received.

"The city was expecting a maximum of 125,000 marchers in the Welcome Home parade for Vietnam veterans. An estimated 200,000 showed, cheered by nearly 500,000 spectators. The parade came 11 years after the war ended."

How about a parade for the Iraq and Afghan vets? Too politically incorrect for some?

Cliff Cannon

Great idea,that is obviously,way past due