Pembroke City Council began its meeting Monday by honoring Vietnam veterans.
Mayor Mary Warnell read a proclamation commemorating the 50th anniversary of the United States becoming involved in Vietnam War combat.
“Though long and controversial in nature, this war defined an entire generation of Americans and numerous brave men and women who served during the conflict in many ways,” Warnell read from the proclamation.
She also encouraged the community to attend Fort Stewart’s ceremony honoring Vietnam veterans at 5:30 p.m. Friday, June 19, on Cottrell Field.
Three local Vietnam veterans – Bill Anderson, Paul Fanslau and Ernie Mitchell – attended the council meeting. Warnell asked the veterans to stand following the proclamation, and they were applauded.
Mitchell appreciated the city’s gesture. It was the opposite of the icy reception he received upon returning home from the divisive war.
“I think it’s great that they are willing to do that,” Mitchell said. “When we came back, nothing happened. All we did was try not to be seen and hope there weren’t any war protestors that would give us a hard time.”
The proclamation paid tribute to the more than 58,000 U.S. servicemen who died in the Vietnam War, along with the many wounded troops and prisoners of war. The city expressed its gratitude to all armed forces members for their courage, devotion and sacrifice.
“Let us strive to live up to their example by showing our Vietnam veterans, their families and all who have served, the fullest respect and support of a grateful nation,” Warnell said.