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The Department of Defense 50th Anniversary Commemoration of the Vietnam War is slated to get its official kickoff at the annual Memorial Day ceremony held at the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington D.C.

The decade-long commemoration is under the direction of retired Army Lt. Gen. Claude “Mick” Kicklighter, a Vietnam War veteran who emphasizes that the effort will be grassroots in nature. Kicklighter said Memorial Day was to be the first day of a nationwide drive to recruit 7,500 community partners to participate in the commemoration by 2015 .

See Vietnam magazine’s interview with General Kicklighter