Vietnam veterans and their family members packed the Newburgh Armory Unity Center on Saturday for the second annual pinning ceremony.
The event kicked off with FDNY bagpiper James Leach playing America the Beautiful. The presentation of colors was then performed by the U.S. Marine Corp. Sgt/Maj Mary Kay Messenger sang the National Anthem. The invocation was performed by Deacon Paul Weirerter.
Christian Farrell, the Orange County Veterans Service Agency Head, was the guest speaker. He thanked the veterans and explained that they did not come home to parades and how some citizens wanted nothing to do with them. Farrell prompted a standing ovation for the veterans when he explained that the Vietnam veterans paved the way for service men and women who are in the military today.
John Richichi, President of the Nam Knights MC Club, and Orange County Executive Steve Neuhaus presented pins to every Vietnam veteran in attendance.
Neuhaus echoed Farrell’s comments. “Sadly, many Vietnam veterans were denied a proper welcome when they returned home after bravely serving our country on the battlefield,” Neuhaus explained. “Their service and sacrifices will never be forgotten, and we appreciate the many contributions that these men and women have made to Orange County.”
Rev. Robert Hershberger performed the benediction. Taps were played by Garcia Warren to conclude the event.