Triple-digit temperatures greeted more than 200 people that came to the Pacific Coast Air Museum’s Tribute to Vietnam Veterans. The Air Museum’s open house gave onlookers a chance to see the many airplanes the museum displays, including some Vietnam-era aircraft. Some of the airplanes had open cockpits people could sit in. An F4 Phantom, which saw lots of action in the war, captured the interest of many people, some of whom were veterans of that war.
2015 marks the 50th anniversary of the beginning of the Vietnam War and throughout the year veterans’ organizations are commemorating this milestone with ceremonies and displays. The Pacific Coast Air Museum’s tribute honored those who served with a look back at the aircraft that played such an important role in that war.
The event included a $5 hot dog lunch with chips and drinks and a ceremony honoring those who served in Vietnam. The ceremony featured a Mounted Color Guard followed by the Presentation of the Colors by the VVA Chapter 223 Color Guard.
After the Pledge of Allegiance and the playing of the Nation Anthem, Christina Olds, Director of Museum Operations, addressed the audience about the day’s event. She said too often Americans blamed returning vets for an unpopular war which they had no part in starting. This event was meant to tell those who served in that war, “We welcome you and honor you and thank you.” Other speakers addressed the audience, including Charles Taylor, a retired Navy commander and pilot, who talked about seeing SAM missiles being shot at B-52’s over North Vietnam and not knowing whether some of the crews made it out safely from the damaged airplanes.
The August 15th event was a great tribute to Vietnam Veterans and a fine display of the aircraft of that era. Christina Olds and the volunteers at the Pacific Coast Air Museum were gracious hosts and did a wonderful job and we thank them.