Thursday, April 18, 2024

Vietnam War Veterans Day proclamation has local significance

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CHELAN – National Vietnam War Veterans Day, observed on March 29, was signed into law by President Donald Trump in 2017 as part of the Vietnam War Veterans Recognition Act.

The city council issued a proclamation at its regular bi-monthly meeting on March 26, designating Friday, March 29, as National Vietnam War Veterans Day. The proclamation signed by Mayor Erin McCardle reads:

WHEREAS, the Vietnam War was fought in Vietnam from 1961 to 1975, and involved North Vietnam and the Viet Cong in conflict with United States Armed Forces and South Vietnam; and 

WHEREAS, on March 30, 1973, the United States Armed Forces completed the withdrawal of combat troops from Vietnam; and 

WHEREAS, the Vietnam War was an extremely divisive issue among the people of the United States and the members of the United States Armed Forces who served bravely and faithfully were, upon their return home, caught in the middle of public debate about the involvement of the United States in the Vietnam War; and 

WHEREAS, 1,123 members of the United States Armed Forces from Washington State were killed or declared missing in action in Vietnam, and hundreds more were wounded; and 

WHEREAS, more than 184,505 Vietnam-era veterans live in Washington State and our Nation stands stronger for their service, and 

WHEREAS, the people of Washington realize that one of our most fundamental obligations is to show respect and dignity to all who have worn the uniform of the United States, and to honor their sacrifice by serving them as well as they served us; 

NOW THEREFORE, I Erin McCardle Mayor of the City of Chelan, do hereby proclaim March 29, 2024 as National Vietnam War Veterans Day.

The proclamation included the statistic that 1,123 Washington State military service members were killed or declared MIA during that conflict. Captain Harry Griffith Cramer, Jr., a West Point graduate (1946) with the 14th Special Forces Operational Detachment, was the first U.S. Army soldier killed in Vietnam on Oct. 21, 1957. He was awarded the Siver Star, the third-highest U.S. combat-only award. A street – Cramer Avenue - at Joint Base Lewis-McChord was named in his honor in 1987.

Cramer is the father of Lt. Col. Harry “Hank” Cramer (ret.), of Winthrop. Washington, a Gold Star Fellow and veterans’ liaison officer for Congressman Dan Newhouse. Hank was four years old when his father died. He later followed in his father’s footsteps and served 28 years in the regular Army and Reserve, including five years with his father’s Green Beret unit, the 1st Special Forces Group.

Following 9/11 Cramer resumed his military service, taught Army ROTC at the University of Washington, then volunteered to deploy as an adviser and trainer to the Afghan National Army. He was injured during his tour of duty, medevaced back to the U.S. and is now retired from the Army Reserve.

Mike Maltais: 360-333-8483 or michael@ward.media




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