Fort Hamilton honors Vietnam veterans with ceremony
Fort Hamilton held its annual Vietnam Veterans Appreciation Day ceremony at the Post Theater on the base on Thursday, where Lt. Gen. (Ret.) Claude “Mick” Kicklighter spoke and honored the dozens of veterans in attendance.
“I can’t tell you how humbled and honored I am to be with my brothers and sisters from that war,” said Kicklighter, who served two tours in Vietnam. “The centerpiece of this commemoration will be the Vietnam veterans and their families, but through all of this, we remember all veterans in all wars, especially those serving in Iraq and Afghanistan today.”
The event was hosted by Donald Bradshaw, deputy garrison commander at Fort Hamilton, and SPC Stephen M. Drake served as the master of ceremonies.
“Fifty years ago, the United States armed forces were decisively engaged in a war that lasted nearly 10 years,” Bradshaw said. “During that time, you veterans front and center here went into harm’s way because your nation needed you. Thousands served; many did not come home. Those who did come home, you were not properly recognized.”
Sara Stevens sang the national anthem, Chaplain Eric Meyners gave the invocation, a moment of silence was held for those lost in the war and the FDNY Emerald Society Pipes and Drums gave a special tribute.
Kicklighter continued a tradition that started on Memorial Day in 2012, where Vietnam veterans are properly thanked for their service.
“Our goal is to make sure that every Vietnam veteran and every family member is thanked and honored before this comes to an end,” Kicklighter said. “We want to emphasize the legacy of men and women who served on that battlefield.
“These ceremonies are emotional and meaningful for these families when they realize that the nation does remember the great loss and great sorrow and suffering that has gone on through all these years.”
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