The Roanoke Valley Vietnam War 50th Anniversary Commemorative Committee honored Vietnam troops Wednesday at noon during a ceremony at Lee Plaza in downtown Roanoke.
In commemoration of the Vietnam War 50th Anniversary, Municipal Wreath-Laying Ceremonies were held simultaneously Wednesday in the Cities of Roanoke and Salem, and for Roanoke County and the Town of Vinton. The date for this ceremony was chosen in respect of March 29, 1973, when the last combat troops withdrew from Vietnam.
The 2008 National Defense Authorization Act authorized the Secretary of Defense to conduct a program to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the Vietnam War. Part of this commemoration includes federal, state and local government activities to recognize the date.
In 2015, representatives from the four local governments and Stonewall Jackson Chapter/Association of the United States Army formed a committee to plan events to commemorate the anniversary. The committee has been tasked with holding at least two events a year from 2015 through 2017.
In 2017, events will include Wednesday’s Wreath-Laying Ceremonies; a Massed High School Band Concert with Meastro David Stewart Wiley at Salem Civic Center on November 5; and a social event, “Saluting Those Who Served,” on November 17 at the Vinton War Memorial to honor Vietnam Veterans, their families, and partners who have supported the 50th Anniversary commemorative events.
Wednesday’s Wreath-Laying Ceremony in Lee Plaza was presided over by Roanoke Mayor, Sherman P. Lea and Col. Hugh Sproul, AUSA. Posting of Colors was a joint effort by the ROTC Cadets of Patrick Henry and William Fleming High Schools.