Fayetteville, NC (PRWEB) November 15, 2010
In a press conference appropriately held this past Thursday, Veterans Day, at Freedom Memorial Park, Fayetteville Mayor Tony Chavonne outlined plans for Heroes Homecoming, a 10-day event series to honor Vietnam veterans that will take place in November 2011 and coincide with Veterans Day. Heroes Homecoming was created to give Vietnam veterans the welcome home they never received, but so greatly deserve, and to show them that we remember and appreciate their courage, sacrifice and everything they’ve done to defend our freedom.
Fayetteville has an unparalleled place in the history of the Vietnam War and its veterans. During the war, more than 200,000 soldiers underwent basic combat training at Fort Bragg. The community presently has both a considerable population of native-born Vietnamese and one of the highest concentrations of Vietnam veterans in the United States. Many current residents lived in the area during the 1960s and experienced the opposition to the war, which led to an undesirable reputation for the city. Countless additional generations of residents have grown up hearing the stories from that time.
“Fayetteville has a long standing history with Vietnam and the Vietnam War. I don’t think there is another city in this country that is tied more to that period of time then our city,” said Mayor Chavonne. “Heroes Homecoming is a perfect way to show the nation how far Fayetteville has come in the past half century, at the same time it will allow us to continue to grow as a community and learn from the beliefs and assumptions of the past.”
In a continuing effort to finally put the city’s stigma associated with that unpopular war to rest and create healing among the Vietnam veteran community, the Heroes Homecoming will celebrate the city’s history and cultural diversity, while promoting an atmosphere of appreciation between Fayetteville and Vietnam, and giving thanks to those who fought for us in that conflict. The series of events, featuring various celebrations, discussions and exhibits, will provide for a long overdue opportunity for dialogue among Vietnam veterans, native-born Vietnamese and Fayetteville residents about their experiences from that period of time and how to move forward and grow from lessons learned.
Fayetteville has changed dramatically in the past 50 years and is now quick to proclaim its position as America’s First Military Sanctuary Community that exhibits desirable American values. In 2008, Time magazine recognized Fayetteville as America’s most pro-military community and in 2009, Newsmax magazine listed Fayetteville as one of the top 25 cities and towns that best express our national values. The city is also home to the North Carolina Veterans Park, a place of honor for all of the state’s veterans, which will officially open and be dedicated on July 4th 2011.
The Heroes Homecoming is not the only way Fayetteville/Cumberland County is honoring veterans in 2011. The city will dedicate the entire month of May to honor soldiers, vets and their families who have put it all on the line to defend our country with the 3rd annual 31 Day Salute, formally 31 Days of Glory.
31 Day Salute is a month-long celebration of performances, ceremonies, exhibits and activities where we invite the world to do what we do every day — show our enthusiastic appreciation, respect and support for those who serve and have served in our armed forces. Put on by the entire community, 31 Day Salute is for anyone who wants to experience our military heritage and honor our brethren in the services — past and present.
To view photos from the Heroes Homecoming press conference, visit http://www.rubberneckmedia.com/clients/Fayetteville/HeroesHomecomingPhotos.pdf
About Heroes Homecoming:
Fayetteville created Heroes Homecoming as our way of showing all Vietnam veterans we remember and appreciate their courage, their sacrifice and everything they’ve done to defend our freedom - now and forever. American soldiers returning from Vietnam never received the homecoming they deserved, and Fayetteville wants to rectify that. We have a unique bond with all Vietnam veterans, as our town was the point of departure and return for hundreds of thousands of soldiers. For additional information, visit http://www.heroeshomecoming.com
About the FACVB:
The Fayetteville Area Convention & Visitors Bureau is a private, not-for-profit organization responsible for positioning Fayetteville/Cumberland County as a destination for conventions, sporting events and individual travel. For additional information, visit http://www.visitfayettevillenc.com or call 1-800-255-8217. Fayetteville/Cumberland County is the America's first military sanctuary. Through the Army's Army and other volunteer groups, our citizens and businesses are dedicated to ‘watching over those who watch over us ©.’