Episode 2524 of the Vietnam Veteran News Podcast will feature a story about how Vietnam POWs were honored at the Nixon Presidential Library. The featured story appeared in the Orange County Register and was titled: Vietnam War POWs gather, remember at Nixon Library reunion. It was submitted by Erika I. Ritchie.
The Nixon Presidential Library & Museum in Yorba Linda is holding three days of events to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the end of U.S. involvement in the Vietnam War.
One of the events was the hosting of a reunion of nearly 170 American prisoners of war. One of the attendees was Charlie Plumb, a retired Navy captain shot down after 74 successful missions. He said seeing many of the guys he was held within a North Vietnamese prison was an indescribable experience on Tuesday, May 23, 2023.
Plumb, who spent six years in the “Hanoi Hilton” prison made these remarks, “Seeing these guys I haven’t seen in a long time is really neat, especially when you’re in a prison cell with nothing else to do; you get to know these guys really well. It’s a bond that can’t be replicated and can’t be broken. Some of the guys saved my life, and some guys said I saved their lives.”
Nixon’s administration negotiated the release of 591 American prisoners, who returned home in February and March 1973. On May 24, 1973, the president and his wife, Pat, hosted the largest dinner in White House history – still to this date – in honor of the POWs. This week’s reunion includes a formal dinner in the library’s replica of the White House East Room that is meant to recreate that state dinner, down to the menu items and centerpieces.
The reunion started Tuesday with a parade to the Nixon Library, a flyover and tours of the galleries, including a new exhibit on the POWs’ experience.
Listen to episode 2524 and discover more about how Vietnam POWs were honored at the Nixon Presidential Library.