Salute to Veterans Spotlights Vietnam Era

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Several hundred people came to Veterans Park by The Lakeland Center this morning for the city’s annual salute to veterans.

The event’s purpose is to recognize the sacrifices that men and women in uniform have made to preserve freedom, according to Col. Gary Clark of the Polk County Veterans Council.

Veterans from each conflict were asked to stand, and those who served during the Vietnam era predominated.

The main speaker, Ken Leland of Lakeland, recalled his service as a Marine squad leader in Vietnam and implored the audience to remember the lessons from that conflict and never again show that era’s disrespect for war veterans.