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News Release

Vietnam Veterans Memorial Wall

Colin Powell To Give Veterans Day Address

06 November 2007


Gen. Colin Powell, USA (Ret.), former Secretary of State and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, as well as a wounded and decorated Vietnam veteran, will serve as the keynote speaker for the Veterans Day ceremony at the Vietnam Veterans Memorial.

The Veterans Day ceremony is the highlight of the 25th Anniversary of The Wall commemoration. The ceremony is the expected to attract more than 10,000 veterans, family members and dignitaries. It will begin at 1:00 p.m. on Sunday, November 11, and is co-hosted by the Memorial Fund and the National Park Service.

Memorial Fund Founder and President Jan C. Scruggs will serve as master of ceremonies on Veterans Day. In addition to Gen. Powell’s keynote address, the ceremony will feature remarks by:
  • Secretary of the Interior Dirk Kempthorne

  • Sen. Chuck Hagel (R-Neb.)

  • Diane Carlson Evans, founder and president of the Vietnam Women’s Memorial Foundation

  • Mary “Edie” Meeks, Vietnam Women’s Memorial Foundation

  • William Hansen, Lockheed Martin

  • William Murdy, Comfort Systems

In addition, the ceremony will feature a preformance by country music singer and songwriter Darryl Worley. In 2002, Worley entertained the troops stationed in Afghanistan, Kuwait and Uzbekistan. Transformed by the experience, Worley has continued to support our troops with performances all over the world, including Iraq. On the home front, he played a key role in organizing the annual American Freedom Festival to raise funds for veterans.

“On this historic and patriotic day, we are pleased to have these distinguished Americans joining us to honor our nation’s service members at The Wall on the 25th anniversary of its dedication,” said Scruggs.

Keynote speaker, Gen. Colin Powell, USA (Ret.) was a professional soldier for 35 years, during which time he held myriad command and staff positions and rose to the rank of four-star general. He served as the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, the highest military position in the Department of Defense, and later became the 65th Secretary of State. In Vietnam, Powell served two tours of duty in the United States Army, where he was awarded the Purple Heart, the Bronze Star and the Soldier's Medal. In all, he has received 11 decorations, including the Legion of Merit.

Gen. Powell will be introduced by Sen. Chuck Hagel of Nebraska. Sen. Hagel served side by side in Vietnam with his brother Tom in 1968 as infantry squad leaders with the U.S. Army's 9th Infantry Division. Hagel earned many military decorations and honors, including two Purple Hearts.

Secretary of the Interior Dirk Kempthorne will provide the ceremony’s opening remarks. Prior to his confirmation as Secretary of the Interior, Kempthorne served as the mayor of the city of Boise, governor of Idaho and as a U.S. senator.

Also speaking at the Veterans Day ceremony will Diane Carlson Evans and Mary “Edie” Meeks. Carlson Evans is the founder and president of the Vietnam Women’s Memorial Foundation and served in the Army Nurse Corps during the Vietnam War. Meeks served in the Army Nurse Corps in Vietnam from 1968-1969, at hospitals in Saigon and Pleiku.
This Veterans Day ceremony at The Wall is open and free to the public.

The ceremony will be Webcast live by TV Worldwide and archived on the Memorial Fund’s Web site. TV Worldwide and Base Technologies are the sponsors of the Webcast.

The commemoration of the 25th anniversary of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial will conclude with two events on Tuesday, Nov. 13, the actual anniversary of The Wall’s dedication. The Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund will be teaming up with NASA for a Salute to Vietnam Veterans on Tuesday morning, Nov. 13. Later that evening, the Department of Interior will unveil its featured exhibit on the Vietnam Veterans Memorial. For more information on these events, visit: www.vvmf.org.

The 25th Anniversary of The Wall events have been made possible by the support of the following corporations, groups and individuals: Lockheed Martin, API Energy, Boeing, Capital Hilton, Comfort Systems USA, Disabled American Veterans, FedEx, Gregory C. Jewell, Rick Lieb The McCormick Tribune Fund, Military Order of the Purple Heart, Mr. and Mrs. Robert S. Morrison, Non Commissioned Officers Association, Paralyzed Veterans of America and Veterans of Foreign Wars.
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