Some of the Vietnam veterans who are the Home Town Heroes.


Honoring Vietnam veterans

Bristol, CT

In September 2022 the Bristol Exchange Club held its annual Mum Festival. This year the Vietnam veterans from Bristol were chosen as the Home Town Heroes.
Donna Dognin, director of the Veterans Strong Community Center, headed up the committee working with the city and Seicheprey American Legion Post 2 to honor the veterans.
The Exchange Club had a large sign made with the 17 names of those lost from Bristol during the Vietnam War. It was on display all weekend. The city had banners with faces of each of the 17 who never made it home along Memorial Blvd.
Friday night was the opening ceremony of the Mum Festival. After posting the colors by the Bristol Police Honor Guard, a proclamation by the mayor of Bristol was read and presented to the Vietnam veterans. John Lodovica, a Vietnam veteran, received it on behalf of all the Vietnam veterans. A second proclamation was presented to the Vietnam veterans by Senator Henri Martin from members of the state House and Senate for Connecticut.
The veterans present were given a dog tag with "Home Town" Hero printed on them. The mayor next walked among the Vietnam veterans and presented a small key from the city to each Home Town Hero himself. A special pin was also presented to each veteran by the Veteran Strong Community Center Staff members.
The ceremony ended by the signing of the items left at the Vietnam Traveling Wall, The Wall That Heals, in 2016 when it was in Bristol. The items were donated to the Bristol Library for a special display by Post 2. The commanders of the Legion Family signed along with the director and assistant director from the library.
In the weeks leading up to the Mum Festival start the Friends of the Library collected donations to purchase the display case to house the items.
Saturday during the festival, the center passed out pins and dog tags to Vietnam veterans who did not make the Friday night ceremony.
On Sunday morning the local Elks Lodge 1010 held a breakfast for the Vietnam veterans. That afternoon, eight of the veterans took part in the Mum Parade as the Bristol Home Town Heroes. They rode behind the parade grand marshal. The complete city council and Bristol Mayor Jeffery Caggiano walked behind the Home Town Heroes.
While awaiting the start of the Mum Parade many pageant winners stopped by to take pictures with the veterans.

The Bristol Police color guard performed at the ceremony.

State lawmakers present a state proclamation to the Vietnam veterans.

The mayor of Bristol handed a small key to the city to each of the Vietnam veterans there.

The mayor and Bristol City Council presented a proclamation to the Vietnam veterans, also making Friday Vietnam Veterans Day.

Elks Lodge 1010 held a Hometown Hero Breakfast. All Vietnam veterans were guests of honor.

Home Town Heroes with the mayor and grand marshal.

Home Town Hero with local pageant winners.
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