Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan, Event to Honor Vietnam Veterans
As a United States of America Vietnam War Commemoration Commemorative Partner, KANAVA International, a veteran-owned small business, is honored to help recognize the service of Vietnam Veterans in the Eastern Upper Peninsula on Friday, June 24, 2016, during Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan’s Engineers Weekend. A special ceremony will be held at 10 am at the Soo Locks, between the MacArthur and Poe Locks, to recognize the service of Veterans who were on active duty, regardless of location, between November 1, 1955, to May 15, 1975. All Veterans, families and the general public are welcome to attend. Brigadier General Stone of the Michigan Army National Guard will be the keynote speaker. Sault Ste. Marie Mayor Anthony Bosbous and a representative from the Department of Defense Vietnam War Commemoration, Colonel Joe Ramos, U.S. Army (retired), will also speak. Vietnam Veterans will be presented with a special pin developed for the 50th Anniversary of the Vietnam War.
By presidential proclamation on May 25, 2012, the 50th Anniversary Commemoration of the Vietnam War extends from May 28, 2012 through November 11, 2025. Around the United States, businesses and other organizations are becoming Commemorative Partners to recognize the honorable service of the Vietnam Veteran.
This event is co-sponsored by the Commemorative Partners, KANAVA International and the Sault Ste. Marie Conventions and Visitors Bureau. Support for the event is also being provided by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Vietnam Veterans Association Chapter #180, and the Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan Downtown Development Authority.
In addition to the ceremony, a Veterans’ Village will open immediately following the ceremony, adjacent to the ceremony location at the Soo Locks. A Department of Defense Vietnam War Commemoration booth will be included, where you can learn more about the Vietnam War, including units that served, and Vietnam Veterans may also receive a pin, if they miss the ceremony. Other booths will include the Vietnam Veterans Association, the Daughters of the American Revolution, and the Disabled American Veterans. Information will be provided on services available to Veterans.
The dates of the Vietnam War have been hotly debated, and laws governing Veterans benefits have constantly been challenged due to the prolonged U.S. military presence in Vietnam prior to 1965. American involvement in Vietnam started slowly with the deployment of advisors in the early 1950s. These number grew during the 1950s and early 1960s, and expanded with the deployment of combat units in July 1965. The last U.S. personnel were evacuated from Vietnam in April 1975.
November 1, 1955 was selected to coincide with the official designation of Military Assistance Advisory Group-Vietnam (MAAG-V). May 15, 1975 marks the end of the battle precipitated by the seizure of the SS Mayaguez.
In addition to events on Engineers Weekend, the Department of Defense Vietnam War Commemoration is also providing a team to interview Vietnam Veterans who served in theater between 1961 and 1975. These interviews support the Library of Congress Veterans History Project. This is the first time the Vietnam War Commemoration has come to Michigan’s Upper Peninsula, and it provides a unique opportunity for Vietnam Veterans to tell their story for future generations. Some of these interviews will be conducted by war correspondent, Joe Galloway, author of We Were Soldiers Once … and Young, who reported on the battle of Ia Drang in November 1965.