Vietnam War veterans saluted at annual Scottsdale event

The city of Scottsdale kicked-off Veterans Day weekend with a special commemoration of the 50th anniversary of the Vietnam War on Friday, Nov. 9, at McCormick-Stillman Railroad Park.

The city is designated a Vietnam War Commemorative Partner, and as such, Scottsdale joined a grateful nation in thanking and honoring veterans and their families.

The free event included Scottsdale City Councilman Kathy Littlefield and historian Joan Fudala, with a keynote speech by Capt. Larry Ernst, United States Navy (ret.) and Top Gun instructor.

Capt. Ernst flew two F-4 combat tours during the Vietnam War, was in one of the first Top Gun classes to learn advanced air combat maneuvers, served as a test pilot and was the last captain of the aircraft carrier USS Midway.

The United States Coast Guard Auxiliary Arizona Band entertained the crowd with a half-hour of patriotic music, and featured the Vietnam Veterans of America Chapter 432 Honor Guard and bugler Gil Gifford.

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