Former POWs from the Vietnam War, along with their families, arrived to the Nixon Library on Tuesday in a patriotic parade of classic cars and escorts from the California Highway Patrol, Orange County Sheriff’s Department and the Orange County Fire Authority. More than one thousand Southern California neighbors greeted the former servicemen with cheers, flags and supportive signs.

Upon arrival at the Nixon Library, a welcome ceremony commenced with trumpeters from OC Music & Dance, the Marine Corps Band and a U.S. Air Force flyover. Colonel Jack Brennan, decorated veteran of the Vietnam War and former Marine Military Aide to President Nixon, welcomed them on behalf of the Foundation.

The POWs and their families were then the first to tour the new special exhibit, Captured: Shot Down in Vietnam. This immersive exhibit shares the harrowing stories of their experience as POWs, including a reproduction of prison cells from the infamous Hanoi Hilton. 

The day’s festivities concluded with a family barbecue with live music. The reunion continues all week with a recreation of the White House dinner held in their honor 50 years to the day after it happened and a panel discussion on May 25, giving the public an opportunity to four of the POWs share their stories. 

View the Welcome Ceremony: