Am. Legion hosting Memorial Day program
VALLEY — American Legion Post No. 67, Valley, will be hosting a Memorial Day program at 11 a.m. EDT on Monday, May 28. With good weather, it will take place at Veterans Memorial Park in the Langdale community. In the event of rain it will be indoors at Valley Community Center.
This year marks the 50th anniversary of the Tet Offensive, a turning point in the Vietnam War. Eight of the 14 local soldiers who were killed in Vietnam died that year.
A special effort is being made to recognize surviving family members of local men who died in Vietnam.
“The main part of our program will be to read the names of those men,” said Post Commander Lanny Bledsoe.
Reading them to the crowd will be former Valley Mayor Arnold Leak, who was a helicopter pilot in Vietnam.
“We’d like for as many of those families we can reach to be there,” Bledsoe said. “We want to recognize their family member and to recognize them for the sacrifice they made. We also want to recognize any local veteran who served in Vietnam. They have a special invitation to be at our program.”
Bledsoe said that he’s been contacted by some surviving family members who have told him they plan on being at the Monday pr0gram.
“We’d like to have a good turnout,” he said.
The theme of the program will be to honor those who made sacrifices in all our wars, with special emphasis this year on Vietnam.
“We’ll be asking family members to come forward when the names are read.” Bledsoe said. “Then we’ll be asking those veterans present who served in Vietnam to come forward and be recognized. We want them to know we appreciate their service for our country.”