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On Flag Day, the Buffalo Naval Park and Congressman Higgins Pay Tribute to Vietnam Veterans

Jun 14, 2019
Press Release
Approximately 50 Vietnam Veterans Honored, Many Serve as Docents at Buffalo & Erie County Naval & Military Park

During a ceremony hosted by the Buffalo & Erie County Naval & Military Park on Flag Day, Congressman Brian Higgins (NY-26) joined Naval Park President Paul Marzello, Sr. and Board Chair Terry McGuire in paying tribute to more than 50 Western New York veterans who served during the Vietnam era. 

The America Vietnam War Commemoration was authorized by Congress, established under the Secretary of Defense, and launched to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the Vietnam War.   Both Congressman Higgins and the Buffalo Naval Park are registered commemorative partners.

Congressman Higgins said, “Decades ago Vietnam veterans put their lives on the line and returned to a nation that was certainly less than grateful.  And while we can’t undo the unjustified reception they received years ago, we can work today and each day forward to appropriately welcome them home by expressing the sincere appreciation they deserve for their commitment and selfless service to this country.”

Paul Marzello, Sr, Buffalo & Erie County Naval & Military Park’s President & CEO, was humbled by the opportunity to honor the Western New York Vietnam Veterans that attended the ceremony today. “We here at the Buffalo Naval Park are privileged to have over 30 Vietnam Veterans serving as Docents; volunteers that offer their time and knowledge to our visitors everyday. We have the great responsibility of honoring and respecting their service, their commitment, and their history- a kindness and necessity that not all Vietnam Veterans were rewarded upon returning home. This ceremony is about righting that wrong.”

Approximately 75% of the docents at the Buffalo Naval Park are Vietnam Veterans.  Many were among those honored during the ceremony commemorating the anniversary of the war.  

The Commemoration pledges to honor United States veterans who served on active duty in the United States Armed Forces at between November 1, 1955 and May 15, 1975.  Under the program, Vietnam Veterans nationwide will receive a long overdue thank you through events held between Memorial Day 2012 through Veterans Day 2025, which include the presentation of Vietnam War Commemoration pins.

According to the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, approximately 2.7 million American men and women served in Vietnam, and over 8.74 million served on active duty during the Vietnam era.  

On June 14, 1777, the Continental Congress adopted a resolution suggesting the design of the U.S. flag, and that flag was first carried into battle on September 11, 1777.  In 1916 President Woodrow Wilson was the first President issuing a proclamation recognizing June 14th as National Flag Day.  It was codified as a national observance by Congress and signed into law by President Harry Truman in 1949, officially beginning the annual tradition of celebrating Flag Day on June 14. 

For more information on Buffalo & Erie County Naval & Military Park events and exhibits visit: