NEW YORK – Veteran journalist Barbara Walters will emcee a celebration of American troops to mark the one year anniversary of the repeal of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,” the former ban on openly gay service members.
The event, “Celebrating Our Heroes,” is scheduled to take place on Tuesday, September 18 aboard the Intrepid Sea, Air, and Space Museum in New York City, according to a joint announcement by Servicemembers Legal Defense Network (SLDN), OutServe, and the Interbank Roundtable Committee (IRC).The tribute to American service members will also honor former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Admiral Mike Mullen, who played a significant role in repealing the 17-year ban.
“The addition of Barbara Walters as our emcee for the evening makes an already exciting lineup even more spectacular. It’s only fitting that America’s most influential and accomplished journalist – who has made history herself a time or two – would join us for this historic and emotional event,” said Army Veteran and SLDN Executive Director Aubrey Sarvis.
Walters, who is currently co-executive producer and co-host of “The View,” has arguably interviewed more political figures and celebrities than any other journalist in history, including every American President and First Lady since Richard Nixon.
“Having someone of Barbara Walters’ depth of world experience and caliber is a perfect match for this tribute to Admiral Mullen’s courage in helping our nation live out its promise of equality for all,” said Elizabeth Birch, former President of the Human Rights Campaign and a key organizer of the event.
The September 18 celebration in New York City will be the first in a series events hosted by SLDN and OutServe across the country during the week to commemorate the first year of open service by America’s gay and lesbian service members.
The anniversary of repeal is September 20.