The city of Chesapeake will hold its annual Veterans Day Ceremony on November 11, at 11:00 a.m. in front of City Hall. This year’s keynote speaker is former prisoner of war, US Navy Commander Paul Galanti.
Galanti flew 97 combat missions in his A-4 Skyhawk before being shot down and captured on June 17, 1966. He remained a prisoner of war of the North Vietnamese for nearly seven years and was released on February 12, 1973.
He was inducted into the Virginia Aviation Hall of Fame in November 2005. A replica of his A-4C from VA-216 is on display at the Virginia Aviation Museum in Richmond.
He was recently appointed by Governor Bob McDonnell as the Commissioner of Veterans Services for the Commonwealth of Virginia.
Galanti appeared on the covers of Life (October 20, 1967) and Newsweek (February 26, 1973) and in the August 19, 1999 issue of Time. Selling Power highlighted his success story in a six page motivation section, Never Give Up, Never Give In, in its May/June 1996 issue. That national sales journal chose him as one of the twelve outstanding motivators in the United States in September 1996.
Galanti’s personal decorations include the Silver Star, combat awards of two Legions of Merit and the Bronze Star, nine combat Air Medals and two Purple Hearts.
The Veterans’ Day Observance is put on by The Mayor’s Commission on Veterans Affairs. This year’s ceremony will include an enlistment ceremony and the placing of plaques honoring veterans. Music will be provided by the Hickory Middle School Orchestra.