The Golf Command, 4th Marine Color Guard conducts the Presentation of the Colors in the Nixon Library’s East Room.
More than 2,000 people came to celebrate Veteran’s Day at the Richard Nixon Library on Wednesday, where there was also a program that honored America’s Armed Forces in the library’s replica of The White House East Room.
Introduced by Foundation Vice President Sandy Quinn, the first keynote speaker was Congressional Medal of Honor recipient John Baca.
Constrained by enemy fire during a night mission in Vietnam in February 1970, Army specialist Baca covered an enemy grenade with his steel helmet and sacrificed his own body to absorb the impact after it detonated, saving the lives of eight men in his platoon.
For his heroism, Baca received the Medal of Honor from President Nixon on July 15, 1971.
Baca’s speech was followed by remarks from U.S. Marine Major General Richard Mills, Congressman Gary Miller, former Nixon military aide Colonel Jack Brennan, Clay Baxter, Commander of the Richard Nixon American Legion Post 679, and Hal Short, Commander of the Yorba Linda and Placentia Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 9030.
Introduced by Colonel Brennan, the Nixon Foundation presented its first ever Orange County Veteran of the Year Award to retired Marine Corps General Bill Quinn.
General Quinn served in the Marine Corps from 1942 to 1975, commanding one-third of the Armed Forces at the El Toro Marine Corps Base during RN’s presidency.
Colonel Brennan added that General Quinn should also be honored for his loyalty and service to the Nixon Family, a relationship that extended beyond the White House years.
General Quinn was the first to introduce RN to the awaiting crowd at El Toro following his resignation in 1974, and later invited the President to play golf there when he and the First Lady made their permanent home in San Clemente.
Providing the ceremonies with sentimental patriotic tunes were Celebration USA, the Villa Park High School Symphonic Ensemble, and the Orange High School Chamber Singers and Concert Choir.
Courtesy of Foundation friend David Stokes, a radio talk show host and pastor at Fair Oaks Church in Fairfax, Virginia, below is a podcast recording of Wednesday’s events in full: