Annual Veterans Day event in Scottsdale salutes Vietnam War veterans

Larry Ernst, Captain USN (Ret.), is the 2018 Scottsdale Veteran’s Day event’s keynote speaker. (Submitted photo)

Scottsdale’s annual Veterans Day event highlights the commemoration of the 50th anniversary of the Vietnam War.

Scottsdale has been designated a Vietnam War Commemorative Partner and joins in thanking and honoring Vietnam veterans and their families at 3 p.m. Friday, Nov. 9, at McCormick-Stillman Railroad Park, 7301 E. Indian Bend Road, according to a press release.

While the event is free and open to the public, the city is asking Vietnam veterans who are attending to RSVP with Rachel Smetana at rsmetana@Scottsdaleaz.gov so they can be properly recognized at the event, the release said.

The keynote speaker, Capt. Larry Ernst, United States Navy (ret.) and Top Gun instructor, flew two F-4 combat tours during the Vietnam War. In one of the first Top Gun classes to learn advanced air combat maneuvers, he served as a test pilot and was the last captain of the aircraft carrier USS Midway.

The United States Coast Guard Auxiliary Arizona Band begins the program at 3 p.m. with a half-hour of patriotic music, the release stated about the program that also features Scottsdale historian and veteran Joan Fudala, the Vietnam Veterans of America Chapter 432 Honor Guard and bugler Gil Gifford.

Refreshments will be provided by Shamrock Foods Company and the Wildflower Bread Company, the release noted. For more information on the event.

More local Veterans Day commemorations include:

  • Scottsdale veteran organizations will host a ceremony at 11 a.m. Sunday, Nov. 11, at the Scottsdale City Hall, Chaplain Statue, 3939 N. Drinkwater Blvd. The program is free and open to the public. For more information, contact Hayden Duff at 480-466-4837.
  • The Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art and Scottsdale Center for the Performing Arts are also celebrating veterans this November. Veterans, active military and their families who visit SMoCA can present a valid military-issued I.D. to receive free admission, plus attend a variety of free performances. Get more information by calling the box office at 480-499-8587.

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