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HINGHAM – Town Administrator Tom Mayo and Director of Veterans' Services Keith Jermyn are pleased to share with residents that a special ceremony honoring Vietnam Veterans and their families was held in town last week.
On Tuesday, March 29 in recognition of National Vietnam War Veterans Day, Director Jermyn presented Vietnam veteran lapel pins to veterans who served during the Vietnam War period as a symbol of thanks and recognition. Spouses or family members of deceased Vietnam veterans were on hand to receive special pins as well.
The event was part of the Commemorative Partner Program, which is held in partnership with the U.S. Commemoration Commission. The Commemorative Partner Program is designed for federal, state and local communities and veterans' organizations to assist in thanking and honoring Vietnam veterans and their families, and is offered free of charge.
The process to participate in the program was started several years ago by Director Jermyn, former Chairman of the Hingham Veterans' Council David Sargent and current member Mary Ann Blackmur.
Former Chairman Sargent was not only on hand for the event but gave remarks and received a pin for his service.
"Participating in this commemorative program cost the Town of Hingham nothing, but it means everything to the men and women who are gathered here today," Director Jermyn said. "To pay tribute to them, we present them with these pins, as well as a thank you, and salute and a welcome home."
As part of the program, any U.S. veteran who served in active duty in the U.S. Armed Forces at any time during the period of Nov. 1, 1955 to May 15, 1975 were eligible to receive a Vietnam veterans pin. The pin features an eagle to represent courage, honor and dedication to service. The pin has a laurel wreath that represents integrity and strength, and has six stars representing Australia, New Zealand, Philippines, South Korea, Thailand and the United States which served alongside each other during the Vietnam War. The back of the veteran’s pin has the words, “A Grateful Nation Thanks and Honors You.”
Spouses and family members who had a loved one serve in active duty in the U.S. Armed Forces at any time during the period of Nov. 1, 1955 to May 15, 1975 also received a pin. It represents the sacrifice of both the veteran and their family. The message on the back of the pin reads, “A Grateful Nation Honors the Service and Sacrifice of Your Family.”
Director Jermyn presented several pins to veterans during the event, which also featured remarks from Select Board Chair Joe Fisher and Lou Rizzo from the office of Senator Patrick O'Connor. Also on hand were Select Board member Liz Klein, Town Administrator Mayo, Police Chief David Jones and several other representatives from the Town.
"I am very proud to be here today with so many brave men and women who served," Director Sargent said. "It also means a lot to be a part of a community that honors the sacrifices of its veterans like this."
For more information on veterans’ services in the Town of Hingham, visit the Veterans' Services Department page on the Town of Hingham website or call 781-741-1440.
For more information on the Commemorative Partner Program and the U.S. Commemoration Commission, including the specific objectives of the pinning ceremony and other similar events, visit the official Commemorative Partner Program website.
As part of the event, Director Jermyn presented pins to and saluted the Vietnam veterans present, including Marine Corporal Scott McMillan. (Photo courtesy Town of Hingham)
Director Jermyn salutes Navy Captain Bob DeMaggio during the ceremony. (Photo courtesy Town of Hingham)
As part of the program, pins were presented to spouses and family members of those who served, including Nancy McRae. (Photo courtesy Town of Hingham)
Receiving a commemorative pin from Director Jermyn is Kate Richardson, Systems Analyst for the Town of Hingham, who was receiving it for her mother. (Photo courtesy Town of Hingham)
Director Jermyn delivers opening remarks during the ceremony. (Photo courtesy Town of Hingham)
The front side of the commemorative Vietnam veterans pin, which features an eagle and a laurel wreath. (Photo courtesy Town of Hingham)