The 50th anniversary of when the last U.S. troops left Vietnam and the final group of American prisoners of war (POWs) were freed and left Hanoi is March 29, and the USS Midway Museum is hosting a free public ceremony that day.
The event begins at 9 a.m. and doors will close at 9:20 a.m.
The Midway’s special flight-deck commemoration ceremony will feature several guest speakers who will describe how their heroic, harrowing and heartbreaking experiences during the war changed their lives and the lives of their families forever, according to organizers.
A special wreath-laying and military flyover also will highlight the ceremony.
Unlike other wars where the blood of U.S. servicemembers was spilled, those who fought in Vietnam were, for the first time our nation’s history, not welcomed home as the heroes in some communities, according to the museum.
After five decades, it is time that these extraordinary patriots are recognized for their incredible selfless service and sacrifice in defense of the pillars of freedom that America was built upon, organizers said.
While it’s important that all Americans understand that the warrior should never be blamed for war, it is equally important to ensure that future generations remember the bravery and courage they demonstrated on the distant battlefields of Southeast Asia, according to the museum.
The USS Midway served from 1945, one week after the end of World War II, until 1992. It was the longest-serving American aircraft carrier of the 20th century.
It is located at 910 N. Harbor Drive in downtown San Diego. The museum is open daily, except Thanksgiving and Christmas, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.