National Infantry Museum Releases Schedule of Events for Vietnam Commemoration
March 14, 2014 03:31 PM
Columbus, Ga. -- The National Infantry Museum will salute Vietnam veterans March 20-23, as part of the nation’s ongoing 50th anniversary commemoration of the Vietnam War.
The highlight of the 4-day event will be the dedication of the new Vietnam Memorial Plaza, featuring the Dignity Memorial Vietnam Wall. A ceremony will be held Friday, March 21, beginning immediately following the 10 a.m. graduation of new Infantry Soldiers on the parade field adjacent to the museum. We hope you will encourage all Vietnam veterans in our community to attend this event. There will be seating at both the graduation and the dedication reserved for Vietnam veterans and Gold Star families.
At the close of the graduation, guests will be led to the site of the new memorial along Heritage Walk on the museum’s east side. The brief ceremony will feature remarks by a representative of Dignity Memorial, the company that originally commissioned the replica of the Wall; MCoE Commanding General MG H.R. McMaster; General (Retired) Barry McCaffrey; and guest speaker Colonel (Retired) Jack Jacobs, a Vietnam Medal of Honor recipient. Veterans will lay a wreath at the Wall, and a 21-gun salute and Taps will close out the ceremony.
On Thursday, March 20, the National Infantry Foundation will host “Vietnam: Valor and Sacrifice,” a half-day symposium and dinner featuring four Vietnam Medal of Honor recipients, four former Vietnam prisoners of war, and guest speakers. Three authors will sell and sign their books late Thursday afternoon. Registration is required for the symposium and dinner; tickets can be purchased at www.nationalinfantrymuseum.org. The names and bios of the panelists and speakers, and a schedule of events for the symposium, are enclosed in this packet.
On Saturday, March 22, at 4 p.m., there will be an exclusive screening of a new documentary about the Vietnam War. Brothers in War – produced by Lou Reda Productions for the National Geographic Channel – recounts the harrowing combat experiences of the men of Charlie Company — one of the last American combat Infantry companies to be drafted, trained and sent to fight together in Vietnam. The screening is free and open to the public on a first-come, first-seated basis.
All weekend, volunteers will be on hand to assist visitors in locating names on the Wall. Paper and pencils will be available for those who wish to make rubbings.
A full schedule of events follows. Media wishing to cover any of these events are asked to coordinate with National Infantry Foundation Director of Communications Cyndy Cerbin at 706-685-5808.
Director of Communications
The National Infantry Museum and Soldier Center at Patriot Park, a 200-acre tract linking Columbus, Georgia, and the Maneuver Center of Excellence at Fort Benning, is the first world-class site to pay tribute to the U.S. Army Infantryman and those who fight alongside him. As the only interactive Army Museum in the United States, the museum showcases the contributions of the Infantry Soldier in every war fought by the U.S. by offering immersive participation and engaging visitors in the unique experiences of the Infantry Soldier. The complex also includes a parade field, memorial walk of honor, authentic World War II Company Street and 3-D IMAX® Theatre. For more information, visit www.nationalinfantrymuseum.org.
SCHEDULE OF EVENTS
Thursday, March 20, 2014
9:00 am – 1:00 pm Registration in Patriot Hall
1:00 pm   Welcome by NIF Chairman LTG Carmen Cavezza
1:15 pm – 1:45 pm Presentation by MG HR McMaster, Commanding General, Maneuver Center of Excellence
1:45 pm – 2:00 pm Break
2:00 pm – 3:00 pm Valor Panel featuring Medal of Honor Recipients
LTG Robert Foley, COL Jack Jacobs, COL Joe Marm, and COL Gordon Roberts
3:00 pm – 3:15 pm   Break
3:15 pm – 3:45 pm   Presentation by Alvin Townley, author of Defiant
3:45 pm – 4:45 pm Sacrifice Panel featuring Prisoners of War from each
service: RADM Robert Shumaker, USN; COL Hal Kushner, USA; LT COL Orson Swindle, USMC; and LTC Ron Mastin, USAF
4:45 pm – 5:00 pm Symposium Conclusion
5:00 pm - 6:00 pm   Books will be available for sale in the IMAX lobby. Authors Joe Galloway, Alvin Townley, and Albert H. Nahas will be available for book signings
6:00 pm - 7:00 pm   Cocktail reception for symposium guests
7:00 pm   Dinner in the Grand Hall for symposium guests, featuring guest speaker Joe Galloway, Distinguished War Correspondent and Co-author of We Were Soldiers Once...and Young
Friday, March 21
10:00 a.m. Graduation of Charlie Company, 2nd Battalion, 19th Infantry
Immediately following graduation Dedication of the Vietnam Memorial Plaza
Authors will again sell and sign books in the museum lobby following the Dedication
Saturday, March 22
4 p.m.   Free screening of Brothers in War in the IMAX Theatre