STEUBENVILLE - Welcome Home Vietnam Veterans Day will be celebrated at noon Saturday at the Louis Berkman Amphitheater.
And Dan Wilson, commander of AMVETS Post 275, the event organizer, hopes the public will turn out in a show of support.
"Ohio is one of 35 states that recognize Vietnam Veterans Day, which is celebrated on March 29th each year," Wilson said. "The day has been set aside to recognize the 300,000 Ohio veterans who served during the war," he said.
March 30 was set aside as Vietnam Veterans Day in Ohio after Gov. John Kasich signed into law during 2012 the day to honor those who fought, died or are still unaccounted for in the Vietnam War. The day represents the first day all U.S. combat troops were out of the country after the signing of the Paris Peace Accords in 1973.
The program, which will be opened with welcoming remarks from Steubenville Mayor Domenick Mucci, has three elements to it, Wilson said.
"Since the day is celebrated in March, and spring is the season of renewal, we will be conducting a U.S. flag re-posting at Historic Fort Steuben," he explained. "This also will help to renew our commitment to honor those who served in and during the Vietnam War. The flag replacement will be conducted this year by members of the Tri-State Young Marines," Wilson said.
The flag will be raised while Thomas Graham sings the national anthem.
"Programs like these often focus on the lives of those lost. We will recognize those by reading a poem written by an aviator who was killed in action in Vietnam," Wilson said, noting the poem will be read by the Schelley Brooks, executive director of the Jefferson County Veterans Service Commission.
"I will say a few words about the meaning of the day and the contributions of Vietnam veterans who have impacted the latest generations of veterans. Then the program will shift focus to the local veterans in attendance who served during the war. It is our hope to recognize and honor those veterans and their families," Wilson said.