Veterans Day Memorial Concert will focus on honoring Vietnam vets

When the renowned American Festival Chorus presents its annual Veterans Day Memorial Concert on Wednesday, November 11 there will be a special tribute to veterans who served in the Vietnam conflict.

Chorus founder and director Craig Jessop says 2015 marks the 40th anniversary of the end of the Vietnam War and the featured speaker will be Vietnam Veteran Lt. Dennis Earl.

Retired Air Force Lt. Colonel Gary Griffin, who is also commander of the Utah State University American Legion Post #12, will be the master of ceremonies.

Griffin entered the service shortly after the Vietnam conflict and says, unfortunately, many of those who served in that war did not come home to friendly greetings because that is the war we lost.

“People who fought in that war feel that the government didn’t support them. They came home to jeers instead of cheers,” Griffin says. “They were forced to fight that war with one hand tied behind their back.

“The politicians decided how the war was going to be fought instead of letting the military go in do what they needed to do in order to win. So there is a stigma associated with that.”

Griffin says there are not many Vietnam veterans who belong to the American Legion and he is hoping more will join because it is a great organization. It helps veterans be informed about the benefits they receive.

Griffin says he is pleased the Veterans Memorial Concert helps members of the community not only enjoy beautiful music, but also provides an opportunity to thank the veterans who are with us today.

The concert starts at 7 p.m. at the Ellen Eccles Theatre.

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