TAVARES — A parade and recognition ceremony will commemorate the 40th anniversary of the year the U.S. declared the end of the Vietnam War. The keynote speaker will be retired U.S. Navy Capt. Charlie Plumb, a National Speakers Association Hall of Fame member, as well as ex-prisoner of war.
The parade will begin at 10 a.m. Saturday, May 18 on Main Street in Tavares, followed by a recognition and honor ceremony from noon to 1 p.m. in Wooten Park. There will be food vendors.
“Lake County is thankful for soldiers who risked and sacrificed so much in foreign wars,” said Commissioner Sean Parks, Lake County District 2. “This is a rich part of our local history.”
According to www.charlieplumb.com, Capt. Plumb graduated from the U.S. Naval Academy in 1964 and went on to fly F-4 Phantom jet fighters on 74 successful missions. On his 75th mission with five days before the end of his tour of duty, he was shot down, captured and imprisoned in an 8-by-8-foot cell. Capt. Plumb spent the next 2,103 days as a POW in communist prison camps. During his nearly six years of captivity, Plumb distinguished himself as a pro in underground communications. Capt. Plumb’s military honors include two Purple Hearts, the Legion of Merit, the Silver Star, the Bronze Star and the POW Metal. He has paralleled his POW experience with the challenges of everyday life, for more than 4,500 audiences since he returned to the U.S.
To learn more about the “Welcome Home” celebration, contact the Vietnam Veterans Recognition Committee of Central Florida at 352-483-0557 or firstname.lastname@example.org, or visit www.facebook.com/VietnamVeteransRecognition2013 or www.vvr2013.org.