Friday May 25, 2012

Bittersweet Commemoration

Law professor Tom Hagel to join brother Chuck and President Obama in Washington, D.C., for commemoration of the 50th anniversary of the Vietnam War.

On Memorial Day, University of Dayton Law professor and Vietnam vet Tom Hagel will once again be side-by-side with brother Chuck in service to their country, as they were during the Vietnam War.

But this time, they'll be joined by the President of the United States and the country's top military brass for the official start of the commemoration of the 50th anniversary of the Vietnam War at the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Wall in Washington, D.C.

Chuck Hagel, a former U.S. senator from Nebraska, will introduce the president during the ceremonies; Tom will be seated on the stage and will be recognized as well. The Secretaries of Defense, Interior, Veterans Affairs, and the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, as well as the chiefs of all the military services, and other cabinet officials are expected to attend the ceremony.

"It's amazing that a half-century has passed," Tom said. "I'm honored to be part of this bittersweet celebration and recognition of the families who lost people whose names are on that wall."

The ceremony kicks off an extensive Department of Defense program of national, state and regional events and activities to broaden knowledge of the Vietnam War and recognize those who served or supported it.

The ceremony starts at 1 p.m. Monday, May 28, and will be live-streamed at Vietnam War Commemoration.

The Vietnam experiences of the Hagel brothers are chronicled in "Echoes of War" a documentary for the Library of Congress' Veterans History Project of the American Folklife Center. The piece is among the first acquisitions of the Vietnam Veterans Collections Campaign and can be viewed at NET Nebraska Echoes of War.