The City of San Antonio received an official Certificate of Partnership from the U.S. Department of Defense, as well as a Commemorative Partner Flag during the city’s commission meeting on June 21.
Brig. Gen. Thomas V. Draude, a retired member of the United States Marine Corps, presented the flag and award to the city, according to Lou Rinaldi, who is involved in the commemorative efforts.
The Vietnam War Commemoration, being led by the Secretary of Defense, is supported through funds approved by the U.S. Congress in legislation that was signed into law in 2008.
President Barack Obama officially announced the Commemoration at a Proclamation Ceremony on Memorial Day in 2012 at The Wall in Washington D.C.
The Commemorative Partner Program is designed for federal, state and local communities’ veterans’ organizations, and other organizations, to help the country thank and honor Vietnam Veterans and their families, according to a fact sheet about the program.
Commemorative Partners must commit to conduct two events a year for three years, Rinaldi said.
The Commemoration is a way to respect and honor those who served in the Vietnam War, Rinaldi said, noting, “some of us remember how we were treated when we came back.”
The Commemoration program seeks to give those who served in the Vietnam War the respect and honor they were denied in the past, he said.
San Antonio is the first city in Pasco County to adopt the program, Rinaldi said. Pasco County Sheriff Chris Nocco has adopted it, and so has the Pasco County Commission.
Published June 29, 2016