Following is a list of major events scheduled as part of the National Salute to Vietnam Veterans. Programs will begin today and continue through Sunday at locations throughout the metropolitan area:

TODAY

Round-the-clock candlelight vigil in honor of Americans killed or missing in Vietnam, beginning at 10 a.m. and continuing through midnight Friday, Washington Cathedral, Wisconsin and Massachusetts avenues NW. Volunteers will alternate reading names during each half hour, and on the quarter hour one volunteer will read a Roman Catholic, Protestant, Jewish or Unitarian prayer. A schedule is available giving the half-hour interval during which names will be read in alphabetical order. The vigil is sponsored by the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund, 1110 Vermont Ave. NW, phone 659-2490. Shuttle bus service will be offered to and from the cathedral, with stops at the Hotel Washington, the Capital Hilton, the Mayflower Hotel and the Sheraton Washington.

Entertainers Salute to Vietnam Veterans, including actor Jimmy Stewart and singer Wayne Newton, 8 p.m., Constitution Hall, 18th and D streets NW. Tickets available at $20.

THURSDAY

Workshops with issue-oriented topics of interest to Vietnam era veterans, running all day and again Friday, Dupont Plaza Hotel, 1500 New Hampshire Ave. NW. Information available from the Vietnam Veterans of America, 546-3700.

Wreath-laying ceremony, 9:15 a.m., Arlington Cemetery, sponsored by Veterans of Foreign Wars.

Veterans Day ceremony and wreath laying, 11 a.m., Arlington Cemetery, sponsored by the Veterans Administration and by the Congressional Medal of Honor Society.

Flower-placing ceremony by children of men and women who died or remain missing in Vietnam, 1 p.m., Vietnam Veterans Memorial, Constitution Avenue and Henry Bacon Drive NW.

Open house sponsored by Disabled American Veterans, 1 p.m. to 4 p.m., headquarters building, 807 Maine Ave. SW.

Unit Reunion Registration, 2 p.m. to 9 p.m., continuing Friday, 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. Army: Sheraton Washington Hotel, Exhibit Hall C, 2660 Woodley Rd. NW. Navy and Marines: Hotel Washington, Washington Ballroom, 15th Street and Pennsylvania Avenue NW. Air Force and Coast Guard: Mayflower Hotel, State Room, 1127 Connecticut Ave. NW.

Red Cross Special POW Reception for Vietnam POWs and their families, 3 p.m. to 4 p.m., Red Cross National Headquarters, 17th Street between D and E streets NW.

Concert, 8 p.m., performed by the U.S. Army Band, Departmental Auditorium, 200 Constitution Ave. NW. Free.

FRIDAY

Open house sponsored by the Office of Personnel Management and focusing on job opportunities for veterans in the federal government, 9:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., OPM headquarters, 1900 E St. NW.

Open house sponsored by the Vietnam Veterans of America, AMVETS, and Stars and Stripes, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., National Tribune Building, 44 G St. NE. Happy hour begins at 6 p.m., followed by a reception at 7:30 p.m.

Open house sponsored by Disabled American Veterans, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., headquarters building, 807 Maine Ave. SW.

Open house sponsored by VFW, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., VFW Memorial Building, 200 Maryland Ave. NE.

Panel on Agent Orange, 10 a.m. to 11:45 a.m., Cannon Caucus Room, 345 Cannon House Office Building. Sponsored by Vietnam Veterans of America and Vietnam Veterans in Congress.

Open house sponsored by Jewish War Veterans of the U.S.A., 1 p.m. to 5 p.m., national headquarters, 1712 New Hampshire Ave. NW.

Panel on Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, 1:30 p.m. to 3 p.m., 345 Cannon Caucus Room, Cannon House Office Building. Sponsored by Vietnam Veterans of America and Vietnam Veterans in Congress.

Red Cross open house for Vietnam veterans and their families, 2 p.m. to 5 p.m., Red Cross national headquarters, 17th Street between D and E streets NW.

Gold Star open house for families of those killed or missing in Vietnam, 3 p.m. to 8 p.m., Hubert Humphrey Building, 200 Independence Ave. SW. Sponsored by American Gold Star Mothers.

VFW reception, 5 p.m. to 7 p.m., with beer, hot dogs and baked beans, Sheraton-Washington Hotel ballroom, 2660 Woodley Rd. NW.

American Legion open house, 5 p.m. to 9 p.m., with music of the Vietnam era, Capital Hilton Presidential Ballroom, 16th and K streets NW. Free admission; cash bar.

SATURDAY

Parade in Tribute to Vietnam Veterans, 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., Constitution Avenue between Seventh and 17th streets NW. Marchers will include veterans, military contingents and others marching toward the Vietnam Veterans Memorial.

Flyby by Air Force and Navy F4s and Army helicopters, noon, Independence Avenue.

Dedication of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial, 2:30 p.m., Constitution Gardens between Constitution Avenue and Henry Bacon Drive NW.

SUNDAY

Eucharist service to honor veterans and pray for the reconciliation of divisions caused by the war, 11 a.m., Washington Cathedral, Wisconsin and Massachusetts avenues NW.