Nassau County Executive Edward P. Mangano, along with the Nassau County Veterans Service Agency and County Legislators C. William Gaylor, Rose Walker, Laura Schaefer, Steve Rhoads and Don Mackenzie honored nearly 1,000 veterans and their loved ones at Long Island’s largest Welcome Home Vietnam Veteran Commemoration Ceremony. Held on Sunday, August 14th at the Museum of American Armor in Old Bethpage, each veteran received a Presidential Proclamation, Executive Citation and a commemorative pin with the inscription, “A Grateful Nation Thanks and Honors You.”
“I am truly humbled to be in the presence of so many great men and women,” said County Executive Mangano. “You make us proud. You served your nation with honor. We gather here today to demonstrate our never ending respect and appreciation for your service. You are all true American heroes and will always have a special place in Nassau County.”
Vietnam Veterans were honored for their courage, sacrifice and devotion to duty and country - in accordance with a United States Department of Defense initiative commemorating the 50th Anniversary of the U.S. involvement in Vietnam. The Mangano administration’s ceremony is the largest one in the history of the federal program.
Pins were distributed by representatives from the American Legion, AmVets, Military Order of the Purple Heart, Rolling Thunder, United Veterans Organization, Veterans of Foreign Wars, Vietnam Veterans of America and Vietnam War Veterans Association.
“More than 58,000 Americans were killed in the Vietnam War,” said County Executive Mangano. “For those who made it home, and join us here today, we say THANK YOU! You risked your lives time and time again in order to preserve the way of life we hold so dear. As we mark the 50th Anniversary of the end of the U.S. involvement in the Vietnam War, we must renew our commitment to the soldiers and their families.”
In photo: County Executive Edward P. Mangano pins Joseph Ingino, Vietnam Veterans of America - NYS Southern District Director; also pictured Dorothy Oxidine, past National President of Gold Star Mothers of America