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2024 National Vietnam War Veterans Day Ceremony

The 2024 National Vietnam War Veterans Day Ceremony was held at 10:00 a.m. at the VVA Memorial Garden in the Greenwood Cemetery in Montgomery, AL, on March 29, 2024. Members of Chapter 607 Vietnam Veterans of America conducted the ceremony led by its President, Jessie Donaldson. John Eidsmoe served as Master of Ceremonies. After the Pledge of Allegiance to America’s flag, the National Anthem was sung by all who were present followed by a solo of “Mansions of the Lord” sung by Bill Thomas. President Donaldson made remarks about the special occasion followed by Vietnam War Veterans Day comments by Geoff Colt, Chapter 607 Honor Guard Captain.

An elegant, beautiful cast bronze Battle Cross was dedicated. The Battle Cross is a memorial for those killed in combat. It is made up of the soldier's rifle with bayonet attached stuck into the ground with the soldier's boots on each side of the rifle and a helmet on top. Dog tags are sometimes placed on the rifle as means of identification. It still serves as a method of mourning among the living as attending the funeral is not always possible for soldiers still in combat.

The names of veterans from the counties of Montgomery, Elmore, Bullock, Autauga, Macon and Russell who lost their lives in Vietnam were read. John Eidsmoe and Mary Huffman sang “O Valiant Hearts” as a duet. Vietnam veterans performed the 13 Folds of Honor on the American flag while each fold’s meaning was described. The Missing Man Table ceremony was performed. Three volleys were fired by the 607 Honor Guard, and “Taps” were played by the bugler, Babs Couch. The Ceremony ended with a benediction by Chapter 607’s John Eidsmoe.

 

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