Sunshine, blue skies, friendly people and a welcoming hotel and staff greeted the Manchus during our 16th annual reunion at the Crowne Plaza Hotel in Warwick, Rhode Island.
We couldn't have asked for more. As is usually the case, a number of us arrived early to do a little pre-reunion site seeing and the southern New England area provided lots of things to do and see. Whether it was a tour of nearby Newport and the magnificent mansions that dot the water front, or simply a dinner with members of our extended Manchu family at a local landmark restaurant like the Crow's Nest. Once the scheduled activities began we fell into a familiar rhythm. The Manchu Open golf tournament drew a good turnout but all the ody english in the world would not be enough to outdo the gifted threesome of Ronnie Carrol, Dan McKinney and Sal Cannizarro who will have there names engraved on the Manchu plaque. Back at the hospitality room Robert "Willy" Dixson had once again displayed his impressive collection of Manchu Vietnam War memorabilia.
The Manchus once again exhibited their generosity with another donation to the Wounded Warrior Project which provides programs and services to the several injured service members as they make the transition from active duty to civilian life. We donated $2000 to that cause.
Larry James, Alen Fyfe, Bob Lannnon and Dan McKinney were honored to be re-elected to their posts of president, vice president, secretary and treasurer.
One of the main orders of business each year is to select reunion sites with the dual goal of bringing the gathering to different regions of the country so that a greater number of Manchus can attend and to provide a destination the group would like to visit. With that in mind the group selected Norfolk, Virginia as the site of the 2015 gathering. As it is the hometown of Manchu Medial of Honor Recipient Ruppert Sargent the venue gives as a chance to pay our respects to this American hero.
As we now plan our reunions two years in advance we already knew the 2014 gathering would be held in Albuquerque, New Mexico. We are looking forward to returning to the Southwest and the chance to settle the age old dispute of how the city got its name. Is it from the Latin alba quercus or "white oak" (the wood of the cork oak is white after the bark has been removed), or can it be traced to the Arabic 'Al-Barquq', meaning "the plum", and the derivative Galician (Galicia, northwest Spanish region) word 'albaricoque', the "apricot". The apricot was brought to New Mexico by Spanish settlers, possibly as early as 1743. As the story goes, the settlement of La Ciudad de Albaricoque was established near an apricot tree. As frontiersmen were unable to correctly pronounce the Spanish (Galician) word, they pronounced it as "Albuquerque." You'll have to decide which story you find most convincing.
See you in Albuquerque next year.
We look forward to seeing you all there. Keep Up The Fire
4/9 Infantry Manchu (Vietnam) Association