Welcome Home Vietnam Veterans Day
Please mark your calendars to attend a very special ceremony at the Vietnam War Memorial in Montrose on Saturday, April 13 at 8 a.m. This will be a ceremony led by veterans for veterans. Mike Baldwin, a member of VFW Post 1614 and American Legion 288, Warren Spayth of VFW Post 1614 and Lynn McGinnis of American Legion Post 288 are the veterans organizing this event and are all Vietnam veterans.
It will be good to see veterans at the memorial. When I began working for the chamber in November 2010 and organized our Memorial Day event for the first time in May 2011, the first thing I noticed was that there were very few veterans at our event. That is when I found out that there was another Memorial Day event up at Two Strike Park. For the past two years, we have tried to come up with a way to have the two held simultaneously and attended by all, but we haven’t been able to do it. Since then, there has been a movement to re-do “the wall” at Two Strike and recently organizers broke ground on it! Last year when Lynn McGinnis approached the chamber about helping support the wall financially, I knew we couldn’t because we support the memorial here in Montrose. So I thought about what we could do. Then I had an idea. I went to Lynn and suggested that since Montrose has the very first Vietnam War memorial in the nation, we should have a ceremony that is specifically honoring Vietnam veterans.
California Congressman David Dryer recognized the memorial in Montrose as the very first Vietnam War memorial in the United States. It was dedicated on Friday, June 14, 1968, during the war. This was the vision of Don Carpenter, editor of the Ledger Newspaper that served this community.
I told Lynn the chamber wanted to see all the veterans come together to be honored. Not being a veteran myself, I asked if there was a particular day that would be the best day to have it. I had no idea that there was something called Welcome Home Vietnam Veterans Day, but of course the veterans did.
Lynn began his research and found that in 2000 a group of California veterans began a campaign to recognize the service, honor, courage and loyalty of those that served in and during the Vietnam War. They chose the date of March 30, the date when the last combat troops left Vietnam.
In 2004, California Representative Linda Sanchez heard about this cause and took it to the nation’s capitol in Washington DC. In 2006, the U.S. Congress and Senate unanimously passed resolutions proclaiming March 30 as Welcome Home Vietnam Veterans Day. In 2009, California became the first state to pass legislation recognizing March 30 as WHVVD. Finally, in 2012 the White House signed an executive order proclaiming March 29 as Welcome Home Vietnam Veterans Day.
So please come to this event to support and honor our local veterans. For more information, contact VFW Post 1614 or American Legion Post 288.
Please come and help us welcome a new business to town. The Creative Lounge, owned by Armineh Havan, will be having a ribbon cutting and grand opening on Friday, March 22 at 7 p.m. The Creative Lounge is an art studio with a twist! Not only will Armineh be offering workshops and classes to kids and adults, there will also be open studio time when you can drop in and just “create.” You will have an opportunity to see the studio at the grand opening and ribbon cutting on Friday. Armineh wants to let everyone know that this is an event for the entire family, so please bring your kids. There will be food, art demonstrations and information about upcoming classes and workshops. We look forward to seeing you there!
“Montrose: Images Of America” is on sale now. A pictorial history book of Montrose by local historian Robert Newcombe is available for purchase. You can buy it at the chamber or any of our local bookstores.
Grand opening and ribbon cutting on Friday, March 22 at 7 p.m. at The Creative Lounge, 2656 Honolulu Ave. in La Crescenta. There will be fun, food and festivities.
Centennial April business mixer on Wednesday, April 3 from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. Stay tuned for the location!
Welcome Home Vietnam Veterans Day on Saturday, April 13 at 8 a.m. at the Vietnam War Memorial, northwest corner of Ocean View Boulevard and Honolulu Avenue.
Artwalk on Saturday, May 18 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. in the 2300 & 2400 blocks of Honolulu Avenue.
Golf classic and scholarship fundraiser on Thursday, May 23 from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Verdugo Hills Golf Course.