In commemoration of the 50th Anniversary of the Vietnam War, Pacific Aviation Museum Pearl Harbor hosted more than 600 Vietnam Veterans, POWs, Gold Star Families and supporters at a Welcome Home Banquet in the Museum’s Hangar 37 last night. The event is part of a Hawaii statewide week-long commemoration, honoring Vietnam Veterans and their families for their bravery and sacrifice in the name of freedom and democracy.
The Bob Hope – USO legacy themed event included remarks by Medal of Honor recipient Major General Patrick Brady, U.S. Army (retired); a guest appearance by actress Ann-Margret; a performance by Tony Orlando; and star-studded USO videos showcasing Hollywood celebrities and entertainers. A special viewing of 14 Vietnam-era aircraft fronting historic Hangar 79 took place prior to the start of the event.
Orlando’s rendition of “Tie A Yellow Ribbon Round The Ole Oak Tree” had veterans and their families on their feet. During the 1970’s, the hit song was considered by many as an anthem of sorts for Vietnam Veterans returning home during and after the war. In addition to accepting an award for her dedication and performances to U.S. soldiers in Vietnam, Ann-Margret also presented an award to Carole Hickerson, wife of the late Captain Stephen Hanson who vanished in 1967 while piloting a secret helicopter mission in Laos.
Hickerson created the National League of Families for POW/MIAs to create awareness of the plight of these men and to provide support for their families.
The week-long commemoration continues tomorrow at Pacific Aviation Museum Pearl Harbor with a dedication of a Republic F-105 Thunderchief and the Museum’s newly refurbished UH-1H Huey and Bell AH-1 Cobra, followed by a symposium with Vietnam Veterans.
Pacific Aviation Museum Pearl Harbor is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization. Its mission is to develop and maintain an internationally recognized aviation museum on Historic Ford Island that educates young and old alike, honors aviators and their support personnel who defended freedom in The Pacific Region, and to preserve Pacific aviation history. Contact 808-441-1000; PacificAviationMuseum.org.
Welcome Home Banquet photos: flic.kr/s/aHskXapULg
SOURCE Pacific Aviation Museum Pearl Harbor