Ohio’s four-day commemoration of Vietnam Veterans Day kicks off at 10 a.m. March 26 with an opening ceremony at the Ohio History Center, 800 E. 17th Ave.
The ceremony will be followed by an 11 a.m. panel discussion by Vietnam veterans at the center, which is part of the Ohio Historical Society. While there, the veterans will have an opportunity to record their recollections of the war for a living history project.
The four days of the commemoration will be filled with ceremonies and exhibits both at the Ohio History Center and the Statehouse downtown. The centerpiece of the commemoration is The Wall That Heals, the premier Vietnam traveling memorial wall from Washington, D.C. It will be on exhibit at the history center following the opening ceremony Tuesday through midnight March 29.
Aside from the opening-day festivities, other free events during the week include:
• March 27: 10 a.m. panel discussion by former prisoners of war at the history center; 12:30 p.m. panel discussion by women Vietnam veterans and living history interviews from 1 to 4 p.m., both at the history center; and special exhibits at the history center and the Statehouse.
• March 28: 10 a.m. panel discussion by veterans on the aftermath of Vietnam; 3 p.m. closing ceremony at the Statehouse Atrium; special exhibits at the History Center and the Statehouse.
• March 29: 4 p.m. at The Wall That Heals, Wall Retirement and Remembrance ceremony.
This year is the first state-level commemoration of the day enacted by the Ohio General Assembly and signed by Gov. John Kasich last year to officially designate March 30 as Vietnam Veterans Day. Because of the Easter holiday, events are being held from March 26-29.
The state commemoration also marks the 40th anniversary of the end of America's role in the Vietnam War. The date of March 30 signifies the first date that troops would have returned home from Vietnam after leaving the country on March 29, 1973.
For more details about the event, check out http://dvs.ohio. gov/home/vietnam_veterans_ commemoration.aspx.