May 2021 - NDSA Memorial Day Event - Remembering Seven Fallen Notre Dame Vietnam Veterans

Seven Fallen Notre Dame Vietnam Veterans

To honor deceased veterans of all the wars fought by American forces, the ND Senior Alumni group is sponsoring a very special video on Memorial Day 2021 hosted by Mike Cerre ’69, a U.S. Marine Vietnam veteran and Emmy Award-winning broadcast journalist.  Mike will interview fellow alums about Notre Dame veterans who were killed in action during the Vietnam War.  The stories of these seven veterans, whose names appear on the Vietnam Veterans Memorial wall in Washington, D.C., are moving and heartfelt. 

Viewing Options

  1. To join other alums, a "Premier" Showing" of the video will be held on Memorial Day (Monday May 31st) at 6:30PM EDT on both the NDAA Facebook page and the NDSA Facebook page.  To watch the Premier Showing, go to: ND Senior Alumni Memorial Day Remembrance and select the "get reminder" button or tune in Monday night at 6:30pm EDT.
  2. To view at your leisure, the video is available on the NDSA YouTube channel.  You can also view the trailer here.

Alumni Participating in the Video

  • Capt. Richard Morrissey ’62 remembered by Denis Retoske ’61 
  • Capt. Joseph Adrian ’64 remembered by John Gillan ’64 
  • Maj. James Egan ’64 remembered by John Lalli ’64 
  • 1Lt. Robert Stork ’64 remembered by John Rahiya ’66 
  • 1Lt. Kevin Burke ’67 remembered by Dennis McCarthy ’67 
  • 1Lt. Bruce Heskett ’68 remembered by Bob Noonan ’68
  • Lt. Michael McCormick ’68 remembered by Tom Gibbs ’68 

Forty-one ND alumni and students were killed in action during the Vietnam War. You can read their bios and those twenty-six others who died of non-combat incidents hereEditor's Note - Apologies for not including this info at the time of the original newsletter on May 24th.   

Mike Cerre '69, Host

Passage from the video as described by Mike Cerre '69........

"With each passing Memorial Day, memories of the fallen fade––except for those who knew them. Seven sons of Notre Dame who died in Vietnam can never be forgotten by those who roomed with them in Badin and Pangborn, sang with them in the glee club, played rugby together, or conspired with them on some legendary campus pranks. Two of those I interviewed for this memorial tribute named their sons after them. One goes out of his way to drive down the street named after his friend where they grew up together. Another pointed me to a bestselling book and major motion picture that featured his roommate’s heroism. For the three still M.I.A., closure has yet to come. More than just names on the Vietnam Wall or symbolic of the “God, Country, Notre Dame” inscription above the entrance to the Basilica, they are part of the indelible cast of characters that came with our Notre Dame experience that are all the more inspiring given their service and sacrifice. They were lives well lived, cut way too short but never to be forgotten."

Club Resources

NDSA has prepared a toolkit to assist local alumni clubs in promoting and holding their events with this video as the focal point.  This toolkit is available hereNote:  Download a version to your computer and save there.  Please do not make changes to the main document.

Contact:  John Hickey at

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