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Veterans Day in Berkeley: Remembering city’s casualties

On Veterans Day 2015  in Berkeley, people gathered to remember city residents who died during the Vietnam War. Photo: Ted Friedman

On Veterans Day Berkeley came together to celebrate the 20th anniversary of its Electronic Vietnam War Memorial, with an observance at the Berkeley Veterans Memorial Building at 1931 Center St.

The event, which began at 11:11 a.m., included a keynote speech by former Berkeley Mayor Shirley Dean, who, according to Ted Friedman, who was there for Berkeleyside, became visibly upset while talking about an acquaintance who was a casualty of the Vietnam War. Dean also acknowledged the irony of Berkeley being traditionally an “anti-war” city while losing so many residents to war. She also talked about the history of the electronic memorial, which is an online record of U.S. military personnel from the city of Berkeley who died in the Vietnam War. The website also includes a guest book for visitors to sign and share their memories.

The event featured a color guard made up of Berkeley Boy and Girl Scouts, as well as members of the Berkeley High Concert Band. Musician Country Joe McDonald performed, and was acknowledged for his work on the Memorial. Berkeley Mayor Tom Bates attended, as did John Spradlin of the Disabled American Veterans, and actor Robert Sicular delivered the “Eternal Soldier” oratory.

Country Joe McDonald performing at Veterans Day event in Berkeley on Nov. 11. Photo: Ted Friedman
Veterans Day 2015. Photo: Ted Friedman
Actor Robert Sicular read an oratory at the Veterans Day event in Berkeley. Photo: Ted Friedman
Veterans Day 2015. Photo: Ted Friedman
Former Berkeley mayor Shirley Dean spoke at the Veterans Day gathering. Photo: Ted Friedman
Veterans Day 2015. Photo: Ted Friedman
The Boy and Girl Scouts provided a color guard at the Veterans Day event. Photo: Ted Friedman
The Berkeley Veterans Memorial Building at 1931 Center St. Photo: Ted Friedman
Country Joe McDonald looks at a memorial plaque on Nov. 11. Photo: Ted Friedman
Veterans Day 2015. Photo: Ted Friedman
Veterans Day 2015 gathering in Berkeley. Photo: Ted Friedman

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