Honoring Those Who Served in Afghanistan
About the Author: Mark Thornburg serves as Assistant Information Officer at the U.S. Embassy in Kabul, Afghanistan.
U.S. Embassy Kabul commemorated Memorial Day with a ceremony held in the flag-lined courtyard in front of the main chancery. The Kabul Marine Security Guard detachment lowered the flag to the “retreat” bugle call and then re-raised it, as tradition dictates, to the National Anthem.
Charge d’Affaires David Pearce gave the keynote address, recognizing the sacrifices of both men and women in uniform as well as those of us who choose to willingly serve beside them in areas of active combat. He called attention to the plaques at the base of the embassy that commemorate fallen Chief of Mission personnel, including Ambassador Adolphe “Spike” Dubs, who was abducted by terrorists and killed in 1979; Tom Stefani, who was killed in a roadside bombing in Ghazni Province in 2007; three DEA agents killed in a helicopter crash in Badghis Province in 2009; and seven mission employees… more »
Commemorating the 50th Anniversary of the Vietnam War
Remembering the Fallen on Memorial Day
About the Author: Adrian Pratt serves as a Public Affairs Officer at the U.S. Embassy in New Zealand.
Today Frank Zalot Jr. came back for the first time to the place he saw 10 of his shipmates drown on a dreadful day in 1943.
This Memorial Day the people of Kapiti Coast on the North Island of New Zealand unveiled a memorial to the 10 U.S. sailors who died during a training exercise while trying to come ashore on June 20, 1943. About 350 people, including Charge d’Affaires Marie Damour and a U.S. Marine Color guard, were there for the dedication of the memorial, sculptured into the shape of a landing craft, close to the waters where the tragedy occurred.
The story of the drowning only recently came to light. At last year’s Memorial Service, Kapiti Mayor Jenny Rowland read out the names of the dead for the first time. A world away, in Massachusetts, that reading had a profound effect on Zalot.
“For 68 years I had this nightmare,” the still spritely… more »
FACT SHEET: Memorial Day and Commemoration of the 50th Anniversary of the Vietnam War
The White House
Office of the Press Secretary
For Immediate Release
May 25, 2012
This Memorial Day, we honor the men and women who have defended our nation, and mark the 50th anniversary of the Vietnam War. On Memorial Day, President Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama will participate in an event at Arlington National Cemetery. The President, Vice President, First Lady and Dr. Biden will also attend an event at the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Wall. Prior to these events, the President and First Lady Michelle Obama will meet with Gold Star Families. On Friday, the Vice President and Dr. Biden attended an event to honor the Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors (TAPS) National Military Survivor Seminar and Good Grief Camp.
Marking the 50th Anniversary of the Vietnam War
“This month, we’ll begin to mark the 50th anniversary of the Vietnam War, a time when, to our shame, our veterans did not always receive the respect and the thanks they deserved — a mistake that must never be repeated.” — President Obama, May 16, 2012
The Memorial Day gathering at the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Wall marks the beginning of the national commemoration of the Vietnam War’s 50th anniversary program and is a joint effort between the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund, the National Park Service and the Department of Defense.
The Federal Government will partner with State and local governments, private organizations, and communities across America to launch the Commemoration of the 50th Anniversary of the Vietnam War—a 13-year program to honor and give thanks to a generation of proud Americans who saw our country through one of the most challenging missions we have ever faced and pay tribute to the more than 3 million men and women who answered the call of duty with courage and valor. The events and activities that are a part of this commemoration will:
- Thank and honor veterans of the Vietnam War, 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.
- Highlight the service of the armed forces during the Vietnam War and the contributions of federal agencies and governmental and non-governmental organizations that served with, or in support of, the armed forces.
- Pay tribute to the contributions made on the home front by the people of the United States during the Vietnam War.
- Highlight the advances in technology, science, and medicine related to the military research conducted during the Vietnam War.
- Recognize the contributions and sacrifices made by the allies of the United States during the Vietnam War.
Memorial Day in Kabul
About the Author: Nicole Nucelli recently arrived at U.S. Embassy Kabul, where she works as a Press Officer. She served in Iraq with the Department of Defense from 2005-2006.
Yesterday in Kabul, it was business as usual: writing memos, reading emails, attending meetings, picking up dinner from the cafeteria, and thinking of our loved ones. On this Memorial Day, we wonder how they are celebrating. Perhaps it is watching a hometown parade honoring local veterans, or going to see the first blockbuster movie of the season. Maybe it is hosting a cookout or going to the beach.
While we all pause on Memorial Day to remember the fallen, we also pay tribute to those who have perished in pursuit of freedom by enjoying the aforementioned small pleasures. In the United States, we understand we can attend a parade without fear of violence, that the blockbuster we are watching will not be censored, and that we can buy food in abundance for our Memorial Day barbeques. These beginning-of-summer activities celebrate in their own small but vastly important… more »