This Memorial Day Greenwich residents will have the opportunity to hear a Medal of Honor recipient speak at the Indian Harbor Yacht Club.
The American Legion Post 29 will feature Medal of Honor Recipient Paul Bucha at the annual wreath-laying ceremony at Indian Harbor Yacht Club on Monday, May 28th at 8:00am. The public are invited to attend.
American Legion Post 29 has traditionally planned the wreath laying ceremony on the national day of remembrance.
This may be the first time a Medal of Honor veteran has spoken in Greenwich.
The public is welcome to the event which will include Greenwich Police Color Guard, bag piper Lieutenant James Bonney, members of the Boy Scouts and Boys and Girls Club, a firing squad represented by the Byram Veterans Association, the national anthem, taps, and remarks by Captain Bucha.
The wreath laying ceremony is one of the many highlights of the weekend, which also includes several parades and other tributes.
According to Peter LeBeau, Commander of American Legion Post 29 , who will deliver the opening remarks, “This ceremony has always been a memorable one, where both veterans and the general public get together to take pride in a touching program taking place in a spectacular setting.”
Of particular note is the fact that this year marks the 100th anniversary of the end of WWI and the 50th year marking the winding down of the war in Vietnam. It is fitting that Captain Bucha is being recognized because his brave actions in Vietnam earned him the Medal of Honor, the highest American recognitions for “conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity in action.”
Bucha who attended West Point was sent to Vietnam in 1967 as a captain and commander of Company D, 3rd Battalion, 187th Infantry Regiment. On March 16th, 1968 he and his company of 89 men were dropped by helicopter in Binh Duong Province tasked with seeking out and engaging enemy forces. What was initially believed to be light enemy resistance turned out to be a full North Vietnamese battalion.
This led to heavy fire and Bucha’s men being pinned down. His determined efforts to protect his men and directing them to a more defensible position helped save lives (which even included destroying an enemy bunker and standing exposed while directing helicopters with a flashlight to evacuate the wounded).
Following the ceremony, a continental breakfast will be hosted by the Yacht Club.