Cape Canaveral National Cemetery hosts Vietnam War commemoration


Keynote speaker retired Sgt. 1st Class Melvin Morris greets veterans at the Vietnam War Commemoration 50th Anniversary held at the Cape Canaveral National Cemetery.

photo by Darrell Woehler

The recently dedicated Cape Canaveral National Cemetery in Mims was the site of the recent 50th Anniversary Commemoration of the Vietnam War.

The large crowd that gathered on a hillside included hundreds of Vietnam veterans and others who served from Nov. 1, 1955 to May 15, 1975. The event was held to thank and honor Vietnam veterans and to highlight the service of all the armed forces during that time.

After the invocation by the Rev. J.B. Kump, the Patrick Air Force Base Honor Guard performed the Presentation of the Colors. 

Guest speaker Sgt. 1ºst Class Melvin Morris, a Medal of Honor recipient who distinguished himself by acts of gallantry during combat operations in the vicinity of Chi Lang, highlighted the efforts of those around him throughout his entire military career.

U.S. House of Representative Bill Posey was the keynote speaker. Well known for his support of the military and its veterans, he gave an informative presentation on his efforts to help wherever he can and his thoughts on the commemoration. He recalled what it must have been like returning from battle in a war many in the country disagreed with and no one to welcome them back. 

“For those of you who never were welcomed home, I say to you ‘Welcome Home,’ ” Posey said.  

The veterans in attendance were presented with a Vietnam Veteran Lapel Pin. Presenting pins were Morris, Posey and James Carleton, a director of the volunteer support committee at Cape Canaveral National Cemetery. 

Numerous state and county officials were on hand to support this effort, many with a military connection. Titusville mayor Jim Tulley was there to receive his pin. He served in the Navy in the Gulf of Tonkin, off the coast of Vietnam, in 1965. George Taylor, president and founder of National Veterans Homeless Support and a well-known veterans advocate, also attended.

Taps was conducted by Impact of Orlando Drum and Bugle Corps to conclude the ceremony. 

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