The Town of North Haven honored local veterans who served during the Vietnam era at a well-attended April 3 ceremony held at the high school.
The Vietnam era spanned Nov. 1, 1955 to May 7, 1975, and March 29 marked 50 years that the last American combat troops departed Vietnam.
Since 2017, National Vietnam War Veterans Day has been recognized on March 29.
Lt. Gov. Susan Bysiewicz was in attendance at North Haven's recent salute to veterans of that era.
“We are so honored to be joined by more than 150 of our Vietnam veterans. We are so happy they have so many friends and family here," Bysiewicz said.
“You have been involved in so many ways, whether it has been as part of a veterans organization, volunteering for community service, or elected office, you have continued in your service ... and we say thank you,” Bysiewicz added.
At the April 3 event, Marie Hopperstand performed the national anthem, Boy Scout Troop 811 carried out the ceremonial posting of the colors, and veterans were asked to speak about their time in the military.
David DiMartino spoke on behalf of his father, Charles DiMartino, at the ceremony. The elder DiMartino was in the military from 1959 to 1962. “He was a sergeant in the Army and served down in Fort Knox. He said those times were pretty wild,” David DiMartino said of his dad, who enlisted at the age of 17.
“During that time, there were drafts, and he joined up with his cousin,” DiMartino added. “He had a feeling he was going to get drafted and decided just to beat it to the punch.”
North Haven’s First Selectman Michael Freda, Commissioner of the Connecticut Department of Veterans Affairs Thomas Saadi and state Sen. Paul Cicarella also addressed the crowd at the gathering.