(Washington, D.C.)--The first formal event of Vietnam Veterans of America’s biennial 17th National Convention in Springfield, Illinois, will take place on Tuesday afternoon, July 21, at 2:30 p.m., when VVA’s national officers join with the color guard of the VVA Chapter 534, Springfield, to lay a wreath at 1 Old State Capitol Plaza located at 6th and Adams Streets. The ceremony is open to the public.
“It’s traditional for VVA to honor local War dead before we get on to the business of our National Leadership Conferences and National Conventions,” said VVA President John Rowan. “It is something we take very solemnly and seriously. It is our honor to recognize those Americans from the Springfield area who paid the ultimate price in service to our nation. And we will honor our Prisoners of War and those still Missing in Action.” Rowan will also be joined by Sharon Hobbs, National President of Associates of Vietnam Veterans of America. The Convention Opening Ceremonies, which are also open to the public, will take place on Wednesday morning, July 22, at 9:00 am, in the Main Hall of the Prairie Capital Convention Center, located at 1 Convention Center Plaza in Springfield.
More than 850 delegates from VVA local chapters across the nation will join hundreds of other Vietnam veterans and guests in Springfield for the National Convention. Following the opening ceremonies, the delegates will meet in convention to debate national resolutions and Constitutional Amendments. Later in the week, they will vote for VVA’s national leaders—officers and board members—for the upcoming two years. VVA’s affiliate organization, the Associates of Vietnam Veterans of America, will also be holding their biennial National Convention in Springfield during the week of July 21-25, at the President Abraham Lincoln Hotel, located at 701 E Adams St.