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Vietnam Veterans Day celebrated

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From Staff Reports

This Friday, March 29, marks the nationwide honoring of Vietnam War veterans. Each year, on March 29, the nation commemorates the sacrifices of those veterans and their families, and “is part of a national effort to recognize the men and women who were denied a proper welcome upon returning home more than 40 years ago,” according to information on the commemorative date from the National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL).

The date was established as an observance in 2017 under the Vietnam War Veterans Recognition Act, which was signed into law by then President Donald Trump.

Most states celebrate “Welcome Home Vietnam Veterans Day” on March 29 or 30 of each year. Though there is some debate, March 29 is generally viewed as a more appropriate date. On that day in 1973, the last combat troops were withdrawn from Vietnam and the last prisoners of war held in North Vietnam arrived on American soil. It is also the date President Nixon chose for the first Vietnam Veterans Day in 1974.

According to reports, more than 2.7 million Americans served in Vietnam, and of those who were killed in duty, 61% were younger than 21 years of age. One out of every 10 servicemen was a casualty and 75,000 were severely disabled. Despite these sad facts, Vietnam War veterans received little to no recognition and/or gratitude upon returning home to American soil.

The final American troop left Vietnam on March 29, 1973. In 2012, on Memorial Day, then President Barack Obama launched a Vietnam War Commemoration to remember the 50th anniversary of the war over a 13-year period. During that time, the federal government pledged to partner with local communities and private organizations to honor more than 58,000 veterans who made the ultimate sacrifice for the United States of America, and for the 150,000 who were wounded, as well as to do everything possible to bring home more than 1,700 veterans who are listed as missing in action.

That 13-year period will conclude on Veterans Day, Nov. 11, 2025.

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