MORRIS – In 2008, the Congress of the United States authorized the Department of Defense to conduct a commemorative program marking the 50th anniversary of the Vietnam War and to thank and honor veterans of that conflict, including personnel who were held as prisoners of war, or listed as missing in action, for their service and sacrifice on behalf of the United States and to thank and honor the families of these veterans.
The Department of Defense has established for the purpose of the commemoration that the term “Vietnam veteran” shall include all veterans who served between Nov. 1, 1955, and May 15, 1975, no matter where they were stationed.
By Presidential Proclamation issued on May 25, 2012, the commemoration will extend from Memorial Day 2012 until Veterans Day 2025.
St. Juvin Post 1336 Veterans of Foreign Wars became a Commemorative Partner in the program in 2015 and has been distributing materials including veteran lapel pins, decals and brochures.
The post will continue this program during and after the local community’s Memorial Day Observance held at 11 a.m. May 29 at the Coal City Intermediate School 305 E. Division St. in Coal City.
This Memorial Day observance will feature recognition by St. Juvin Post, acting on behalf of the Department of Defense, for Carolyn Russell, who will receive the “IN MEMORY OF” certificate and commemorative pin awarded to parents and siblings of a veteran whose name appears on the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington D.C.
Carolyn is the sister and only surviving immediate family member of Marine Corps Lance Cpl. Cecil L. Russell of Coal City who was killed in action Feb. 7 1968 near Thua-Thien Vietnam. Lance Cpl. Russell was the community’s only KIA in Vietnam.
Any living U.S. veteran who served on active duty at any time between Nov. 1, 1955, and May 15, 1975, regardless of location, is eligible to receive a lapel pin. Other Vietnam Veterans memorabilia available are “I served” and “50th Commemoration” decals, and “Proud Vietnam Veteran Family Member and “Join the Nation in Thanking Vietnam Veterans” pins.
St. Juvin Post invites the community to the Memorial Day observance and to help them recognize the service and sacrifice of Vietnam veterans and for the Vietnam Veterans to receive a token of the honor they justly deserve.