Vietnam Veterans honored at commemoration ceremony

Robin Poindexter and Melissa McArthur display the Vietnam War Commemoration flag as event chairman Linda Hanglesben (not shown) explains the significance of each item.

“Welcome home. Thank you for your service.” 

These few words had special meaning to eighteen members of American Legion Post 2007 in Swansea, Ill., on January 28th. The veterans were part of a commemoration ceremony sponsored by the Looking Glass Prairie Chapter, Daughters of the American Revolution to give Vietnam War veterans the gratitude many were denied when they returned home some 50 years ago.

Assisted by chapter members Robin Poindexter and Melissa McArthur, event chairman Linda Hanglesben described the special flag designed for the Vietnam War 50 Year Commemoration. For example, red, white and blue inner rings represent the United States of American flag; an outer black ring serves as a reminder of those who were killed in action, held as prisoners of war, or listed as missing in action during the war.

VINCENT BEMOWSKI, CARL BERRY, JAMES BERRY, EDMUND BLUM, BOB BURRACK, CARL DAVIS, ANDREW DUNHAM, ROBERT FLUCK, ERIC FUNKHOUSER, MARY MONETT, LES O’NEAL, CHARLES PETERSON, DOUG REED, JERRY SAUERWEIN, JOHN THOMAS, ROBERT THOMAS, GARRY WEST, and DON WISNER (not all were present)

“The Vietnam War Commemorative Flag – when placed next to the flags of World War II and Korean War Commemoration flags,” said Hanglesben, “will signify the Vietnam War veterans finally taking their rightful place among generations of U.S. veterans–something that should have been done over 50 years ago.”

The following American Legion Post 2007 veterans were honored: VINCENT BEMOWSKI, CARL BERRY, JAMES BERRY, EDMUND BLUM, BOB BURRACK, CARL DAVIS, ANDREW DUNHAM, ROBERT FLUCK, ERIC FUNKHOUSER, MARY MONETT, LES O’NEAL, CHARLES PETERSON, DOUG REED, JERRY SAUERWEIN, JOHN THOMAS, ROBERT THOMAS, GARRY WEST, and DON WISNER (not all were present). Each veteran received a certificate and a Vietnam Veteran Lapel Pin along with a lapel pin fact sheet.  

Event chairman Linda Hanglesben thanks American Legion Post 2007 Commander Jim Page for inviting the chapter to present the ceremony.

Rhonda Tempia, Barb Cramer and Patti Bjornson provided a musical interlude during the event by singing the National Anthem, It Has Always Been the Soldier, and Procession of the Patriots. 

The Looking Glass Prairie Chapter, along with many other DAR chapters throughout the United States, is a proud commemorative partner with the USA Vietnam War Commemoration. For more information on the Looking Glass Prairie Chapter involvement in the commemoration, contact Linda Hanglesben, 277-4657.