The commemoration of the one-year anniversary of the dedication of the Montgomery County Vietnam Veterans Memorial Wall will be held at Memorial Plaza in Rockville on Tuesday, May 21. The County’s Commission on Veterans Affairs will host the event.
The memorial includes the names of 130 service members from Montgomery County who lost their lives or were reported missing in action during the Vietnam War. There are four Montgomery County residents who remain missing.
The dedication ceremonies in 2018 were attended by more than 400 people, including dozens of Vietnam War veterans. The memorial includes a Vietnam Era Honor & Gratitude plaque that pays tribute to all Montgomery County veterans who served during the Vietnam Era from 1955-1975.
This year’s ceremonies will be held on Memorial Plaza, which is located between the County Executive Office Building at 101 Monroe Street and the Circuit Court Annex in Rockville. At 5 p.m., four Vietnam veterans will be presented with “Quilts of Valor” from Sue Moats of Capital Cares Quilts of Valor. At 6 p.m., ceremonies will include recognition of attending families of veterans killed in the war. Vietnam era veteran Mike Subin will lead the ceremonies. Dan Bullis, a Vietnam veteran who chairs the Commission on Veterans Affairs, will speak.
Among those attending will be Everett Alvarez, one of the longest-held prisoners in the Vietnam War. After the war, he made Montgomery County his home.
The ceremonies will conclude with the names of the 130 veterans whose names are on the wall will be read on the plaza. For each name read, Commander Darren Francke of the Montgomery County Police Department will ring a bell. The names will be read by Vietnam veterans Jimmy Carter, Bill Gray, Art Holmes, Jane McCarthy and Wayne Miller.
Starting at 7 p.m., dinner will be provided by Mission BBQ in the Executive Office Building cafeteria, which is adjacent to Memorial Plaza.
“It took our commission a long time to have this important memorial established and to find the right place for it,” said Commission on Veterans Affairs Chair Bullis. “The ceremonies to dedicate the wall were elaborate and appropriate. We want to thank County Director of General Services David Dise and his team for determining the appropriate location and for their commitment to keep the memorial updated. We also want to thank architect Randy Hawkins for creating a memorial that makes everyone stop and think when they view it. Now our mission is to make sure that the 130 veterans whose names are on the wall, and their families, are never forgotten for the sacrifices they made for our country.”
After the ceremonies move inside, Michael Heimall, the medical center director of the Washington, D.C., Veterans Affairs Medical Center, will speak about the status of health care for veterans and the Montgomery County Community Based Outpatient Clinic that opened in Gaithersburg in September 2018. It is the only clinic for veterans in the County.
Heimall became the new director of the Washington, DC VA Medical Center in October 2018. He is a former Army officer who worked as director of Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Bethesda from 2015 to 2017. He has been tasked to improving the performance of the DC VA Medical Center.
The Commission on Veterans Affairs was formed 10 years ago. The Montgomery County Vietnam Veterans Memorial Planning Committee was formed by the Commission to find a suitable site for the Memorial Wall.
101 Monroe Street
Rockville , Maryland 20850