COLUMBUS, GA (WTVM) - The National Infantry Museum will salute Vietnam veterans March 20-23, as part of the nation's ongoing 50th anniversary commemoration of the Vietnam War.
The highlight of the 4-day event will be the dedication of the new Vietnam Memorial Plaza, featuring the Dignity Memorial Vietnam Wall. A ceremony will be held Friday, March 21, beginning immediately following the 10 a.m. graduation of new Infantry Soldiers on the parade field adjacent to the museum.
All Vietnam veterans in our community are encouraged to attend this event. There will be seating at both the graduation and the dedication reserved for Vietnam veterans and Gold Star families.
At the close of the graduation, guests will be led to the site of the new memorial along Heritage Walk on the museum's east side. The brief ceremony will feature remarks by a representative of Dignity Memorial, the company that originally commissioned the replica of the Wall; MCoE Commanding General MG H.R. McMaster; General (Retired) Barry McCaffrey; and guest speaker Colonel (Retired) Jack Jacobs, a Vietnam Medal of Honor recipient. Veterans will lay a wreath at the Wall, and a 21-gun salute and Taps will close out the ceremony.
On Thursday, March 20, the National Infantry Foundation will host "Vietnam: Valor and Sacrifice," a half-day symposium and dinner featuring four Vietnam Medal of Honor recipients, four former Vietnam prisoners of war, and guest speakers. Three authors will sell and sign their books late Thursday afternoon. Registration is required for the symposium and dinner; tickets can be purchased at www.nationalinfantrymuseum.org. The names and bios of the panelists and speakers, and a schedule of events for the symposium, are enclosed in this packet.
On Saturday, March 22, at 4 p.m., there will be an exclusive screening of a new documentary about the Vietnam War. Brothers in War – produced by Lou Reda Productions for the National Geographic Channel – recounts the harrowing combat experiences of the men of Charlie Company — one of the last American combat Infantry companies to be drafted, trained and sent to fight together in Vietnam. The screening is free and open to the public on a first-come, first-seated basis.
All weekend, volunteers will be on hand to assist visitors in locating names on the Wall. Paper and pencils will be available for those who wish to make rubbings.