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After a two- year hiatus, the Philadelphia Vietnam Veterans Memorial will hold a traditional live Memorial Day ceremony featuring as speaker Captain Benjamin Cooper, USCG on Monday, May 31 at 12:30 p.m. at the Memorial at Spruce Street and Columbus Blvd.
“We will follow whatever pandemic restrictions in place at the time, but intend to ensure social distancing by placing chairs the required distance apart,” noted Terry Williamson, Memorial president. “We are excited about honoring the 648 Philadelphians lost in the Vietnam War featuring all those who have participated in our ceremonies in the past.”
Participants will include the 82nd Airborne Division Association, Hadjak Mokan Chapter (color guard); VVA Liberty Bell Chapter 266 (firing detail); USMC Sgt. Bill Mead (vocalist); City Police Department Firing Team and buglers, and the AOH Division 88/Police Officer Danny Boyle (flag detail).
Capt. Cooper will retire in July 2021 after a 30-year career in the US Coast Guard. He was the chief of staff for the Ninth Coast Guard District in the Great Lakes region, and previously served as the Deputy to the Assistant Commandant for Capability where he helped deliver operational policy and capabilities for aerial, surface, shore and cyber domains. He recently started a new career as Director of Marine Affairs at US Wind Inc. of Baltimore, MD.
Capt. Cooper probably is best known in the Philadelphia area for his stint as Captain of the Port and commander of Sector Delaware Bay headquartered at Penns Landing. He also led maritime security efforts for the Pope Francis 2015 visit to Philadelphia and the 2016 Democratic National Convention.
A 1991 graduate of the USCG Academy, Captain Cooper has an MBA from the Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth College, and is a graduate of the Naval War College. He currently resides in Avon Lake, OH.
The Philadelphia Vietnamese community holds Black April Ceremony on Sunday April 25, 2021 at the Republican of Vietnam Heritage and Freedom Flag Monument located within the Philadelphia Vietnam Veterans Memorial at Penn’s Landing. The event was sponsored by the RVN Air Force Association of PA, NJ & DE and The Du Ca Lam Son Group. The event commemorates the fall of Saigon in 1975 that marked the end of the Vietnam War and the 6th anniversary dedication of the Monument… Photos by Loi Ma