Visitors came to pay their respects to President and Mrs. Nixon at the opening of the Nixon Library’s 20th Anniversary Friday, as daughter Tricia Nixon Cox laid a wreath at their memorial sites of her parents. Cox was escorted by the President’s younger brother Ed Nixon and newly elected Nixon Foundation Board Member Navy Commander Everett Alvarez, Jr., among the longest serving POWs in Vietnam. The ceremony also included a presentation of the colors by local JROTC Sea Cadets.

Commander Alvarez, who was welcomed by President Nixon upon his return to the U.S. soil in 1973, praised the President for his “inner strength,” “true leadership,” and ability to make “tough’ decisions.

“For those of us who were sitting for years in the POW cells in Hanoi, we knew that it would take a long time to achieve peace,” Alvarez said, “in the long run, achieving peace was the right decision.”

Click here for Commander Alvarez’s full remarks.