The Lynn Department of Veterans’ Services and Lynn Veterans’ Council will host a memorial tribute to Vietnam Veterans this Friday at Lynn City Hall at 11 a.m. in the Lynn City Hall Foyer, 3 City Hall Square.
According to Mike Sweeney, Director of Lynn Veterans Services, Governor Charlie Baker’s newly appointed Massachusetts Department of Veterans’ Services Secretary Francisco Urena will bring greetings on behalf of the Commonwealth and deliver remarks.
The ceremony will conclude with a reading of Lynn’s 17 fallen service members from the Vietnam War.
“The city, in partnership with the Lynn Veterans Council has been doing this ceremony for about 20 years now,” explained Sweeney. “We brought the service inside to the City Hall Foyer and added the reading of the names of the fallen about five years ago, as a way to kind of bring meaning to the phrase ‘We will never forget your service,’ but this is really a nice ceremony that reminds people of the sacrifices and service of Lynn’s veterans.”
March 29 is recognized as Vietnam Veterans Memorial Day in Massachusetts and Lynn traditionally marks the day by hosting this ceremony around that day each year.
“In the 1990s, the Lynn Veterans Council led by Arthur Salkins started organizing these different memorial services for specific Veterans days as a way of continuing their commitment to remembering the service of Lynn’s veterans,” explained Sweeney. “We have these great war memorials in front of City Hall, and the services used to take place outside at the memorials, kind of as a way to make sure that the veterans continued to honor that past service, even after the stone memorials had been erected.”
The services moved inside to City Hall a few years ago, to encourage people to attend and stay longer and the Lynn Veterans Council provides refreshments and a short collation to those who stop by.
“I’m excited about the participation of the new Secretary, Francisco Urena, but I’m not surprised by it,” added Sweeney. “I’ve worked with him a bit in the past in his previous roles and he is dedicated to Veterans Serrvices, not just trying to get veterans the services they deserve, but in celebrating and remembering veterans as well. We’re glad to have him joining us.”
In addition to the Lynn Veterans Council and Secretary Urena, other noted guests expected to be in attendance and speaking include Past State Commandant Warren Griffin o the Marine Corps League; local Vietnam Veterans; Mayor Judith Kennedy; City Council President Dan Cahill; Lynn Director of Veterans’ Services Mike Sweeney; and Lynn Veterans’ Council President George Fitzhenry.