Cartwright Commends Arlington National Cemetery for Addition of Vietnam Helicopter Pilot and Crewmember Monument; Encourages Vietnam Veterans to Attend Dedication Ceremony
Washington, DC – U.S. Representative Matt Cartwright expressed his gratitude to the Arlington National Cemetery command, a subdivision of the Army, for its assistance in establishing on monument to the service and sacrifice of Vietnam War helicopter pilots and crewmembers. The new monument will be dedicated at Arlington Cemetery at 4:00 p.m. on Wednesday, April 18, in a ceremony at the Memorial Amphitheater, which is right behind the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier complex.
“Vietnam was in large part a helicopter war,” said Congressman Cartwright. “It was the first of its kind and unique in the way it was fought. Helicopter pilots and crewmembers risked their lives again and again to lead offenses, transport troops, and save lives. A monument in greater Washington, DC to their bravery is overdue.”
Nearly 12,000 helicopters served in Vietnam, and over 5,000 of them were lost in the war, with nearly 5,000 pilots and crewmembers killed in the line of duty. The new memorial at Arlington will be situated along Memorial Drive in the Cemetery in Section 35, not far from the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. The monument reads, “IN HONORED MEMORY OF THE HELICOPTER PILOTS AND CREWMEMBERS WHO GAVE THE FULL MEASURE OF DEVOTION TO THEIR NATION IN THE VIETNAM WAR.”
The monument is the realization of H.R. 877, which called for its creation. Congressman Cartwright was an original cosponsor of this bill and cosponsored similar legislation in the previous Congress, the 114th Congress.
The dedication ceremony on April 18 in Memorial Amphitheater is open to the public; guests may park in the Cemetery’s main parking structure near the Visitor’s Center and take a free shuttle tram to the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. The ceremony will last a little over an hour, after which guests may walk to the monument itself on Memorial Drive.
“I encourage Vietnam veterans, in particular former helicopter pilots and crewmembers, and their family members to come to the dedication ceremony or visit the monument on their next trip to Washington,” added Congressman Cartwright. “It is a permanent symbol of America’s appreciation for the invaluable service of these soldiers.”
The monument’s creation was championed by the Vietnam Helicopter Pilots Association. Attending the ceremony will be Bill “Moon” Mullen, a member of the Association from Pocono Pines. Lackawanna County Judge Thomas Munley, also a Vietnam War veteran, will attend as well.