Springfield holds Vietnam Veterans Day ceremony - Western Mass News - WGGB/WSHM

Springfield holds Vietnam Veterans Day ceremony

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Officials, veterans and their families would not let Sunday's wet weather get in the way of the Vietnam Veterans Day ceremony in Court Square.

The ceremony began inside City Hall, where those in attendance heard from various speakers who honored area veterans who served during the Vietnam era.

Eventually, the ceremony made its way outside to the city's memorial, where the names of city residents who were killed fighting in Vietnam were read.

Veterans who served during the that era said Sunday that they share a special bond with those who are returning from fighting wars today.

"When we meet Afghan and Iraq veterans, there's this bond because they know what we went through and how we tried to make it better for returning veterans," said Thomas Belton Sr., the city's director of veteran services.

Congressman Richard Neal, who was Springfield's mayor when the monument was erected 30 years ago, says the memorial holds a special place in the city's history.

"I think it was part of a process of healing, as acknowledged by the commentary offered by Don Jernigan today," said Neal. "It took an awful lot of years for some of the emotions to subside. You witnessed today the coming together of the American family."

While Sunday marked the 30th anniversary of the Vietnam memorial in Court Square, Vets on Sunday also pointed out that the memorial in Mason Square went up back in 1967.

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