Village of Orland Park Unveils Vietnam Anniversary Commemoration

Village of Orland Park Unveils Vietnam Anniversary Commemoration
Posted on 02/17/2015

Veterans filled the agenda at the Orland Park Village Board meeting on February 16. Mayor Dan McLaughlin administered the oath of office to the two newest members of the village’s Veterans Commission, Dennis Durak and Michael Raymond, and announced some of the village’s plans for its Vietnam 50th Anniversary Commemoration.

In June, 2013 Orland Park was named a commemorative partner for the Vietnam War Commemoration planned by the United States Department of Defense. The department is conducting a program to observe the 50th anniversary of the Vietnam War during the commemorative period of 2015 to 2017.

A number of Vietnam Veterans attended the February 16 meeting for Mayor Dan McLaughlin’s announcements, interrupting the mayor’s comments with applause as he shared some of the community’s plans for the next two years.

As a commemorative partner, the Village of Orland Park will plan and carry out at least two events each year during the commemorative period, 2015 to 2017. These events, held across the country, will recognize, thank and honor Vietnam Veterans and their families.

The mayor asked Orland Park Veterans Commission Secretary Gail Blummer to join him at the front of the board room as the two unveiled two of the village’s recognition efforts, the 2015 Village of Orland Park vehicle sticker and the Department of Defense 50th Anniversary Flag that will be displayed in the lobby of the Frederick T. Owens Village Hall.

“Orland Park is very pleased to be a partner in this nationwide program to thank and honor Vietnam Veterans,” said Mayor Dan McLaughlin. “We have a number of Vietnam Vets, their families and friends in the Orland Park area and we’re looking forward to thanking them for their service and remembering the sacrifices they all made,” the mayor said.

The Vietnam War Commemoration objectives include thanking and honoring veterans of the war including those who were held as prisoners of war or listed as missing in action. The objectives also include highlighting the services of the armed forces during the war and pay tribute to contributions made on the home front by the people of the United States during the war.

McLaughlin unveiled the 2015/17 Village of Orland Park vehicle sticker design that salutes the commemoration and displayed the framed the Vietnam War Commemoration 50th Anniversary flag that the village will display. Orland Park village stickers will go on sale this summer.

The mayor announced a number of Vietnam Commemoration events planned for Orland Park including a Vietnam Veterans’ Float being planned for the Orland Park Lions Club’s Annual Orland Days Parade on Sunday, May 31, 2015. A community booth devoted to the 50th anniversary will be among those at the Taste of Orland Park 2015 July 31, August 1 and 2.

Commemoration information will be included in upcoming editions of the “Orland Park Public,” the village’s quarterly newsletter. The Vietnam Moving Wall will return to Orland Park October 1 through 4, 2015 and Blummer noted that the Veterans Commission has requested that the Agent Orange Quilt of Tears return to Orland Park when the wall is on display.

“We’ve had a number of Vietnam Veterans send in their email addresses so we can let them know about the village’s commemoration events,” McLaughlin said, adding that the email addresses would be used only for that purpose.

Area Vietnam Veterans, their families and friends are invited to send an email to MayorsVietnamVets@orlandpark.org to be added to the village’s mailing list for Orland Park’s upcoming 50th anniversary commemoration events.

“Orland Park has a very active Veterans Commission and community of veterans,” McLaughlin said. “The village was honored to host the Vietnam Moving Wall in 2006 and be a regional host for the 2012 60th Anniversary of the Korean War,” the mayor said, adding, “We look forward to coming together as a community to honor, thank and recognize Vietnam Veterans, their families and friends.”