A powerful Vietnam War ceremony on USS Midway.

This morning, in San Diego, a 50th Anniversary of the end of the Vietnam War ceremony was held on the flight deck of the USS Midway Museum.

A large audience assembled to recognize Veteran service members who returned from Vietnam fifty years ago–including those prisoners of war held by the North Vietnamese who were released and repatriated on March 29, 1973.

The ceremony was emotionally powerful. Many silent tears were wiped away. Memories were shared of pain and grief, and relief and gratitude.

Four speakers shared their experiences.

Retired U.S. Marine Corps Col. James M. Collins spoke of his tour in Vietnam, and how he was injured by an enemy hand grenade. He has gone on support those in the military through his leadership in various organizations.

Roy A Knight, III spoke of the loss of his father during the Vietnam War, and the miraculous discovery of his father’s remains. He has gone on to serve as a search and rescue pilot with the Civil Air Patrol.

Courtney Herrmann was a young girl when her family evacuated from Saigon. Her family was flown onto the USS Midway during Operation Frequent Wind. Her memories of a harrowing experience, and her gratitude that she now lives in freedom in America, brought about a rousing ovation.

Retired U.S. Navy Cmdr. Everett Alvarez, Jr. was a prisoner of war at the Hỏa Lò Prison, also known as the Hanoi Hilton, where he was beaten and tortured. He survived his brutal imprisonment through faith and the support of other prisoners. He finally came home with honor intact.

The audience welcomed every Vietnam veteran home.

After the speeches, four memorial wreaths took wing, remembering those who sacrificed for their country in a difficult war half a century ago.

Thanks for visiting Cool San Diego Sights!

I post new blogs pretty often. If you like discovering new things, bookmark coolsandiegosights.com and swing on by occasionally!

I live in downtown San Diego and love to walk around with my camera! You can follow Cool San Diego Sights via Facebook or Twitter!

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Richard Schulte

Downtown San Diego has been my home for many years. My online activities reflect my love for writing, blogging, walking and photography.

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