President Joe Biden and first lady Jill Biden visited Monday the Vietnam Veterans Memorial to pay tribute to Vietnam War Veterans.
Today is National Vietnam War Veterans Day.
In 2012, President Barack Obama signed a presidential proclamation, designating March 29 as the annual observance of Vietnam War Veterans Day.
On that day, 48 years ago, the last US combat troops left Vietnam and the last prisoners of war (POWs) held in North Vietnam came home.
One does not need to come up with “new” words each year to pay homage to the service and sacrifice of all Veterans who served during that War.
Here is a previous but nevertheless still very sincere Thank You to all our Vietnam War Veterans:
National Vietnam War Veterans Day is a recognition extended to men and women who served on active duty in the U.S. armed forces from Nov. 1, 1955 to May 15, 1975, whether in peacetime or war.
Nine million Americans — about 6.4 million of them living today — served during that period, 2.7 million of them served “in-country,” in Vietnam. Approximately 3.4 million served in the Southeast Asia theater.
The 58,320 names of U.S. service members inscribed on The Wall at the National Mall is just one measure – a horrific one — of the sacrifices made by those who served in that War. In addition,
• 304,000 were wounded.
• 1,253 are Missing in Action (MIA) and have not yet returned to American soil.
• 2,500 were Prisoners of War.
• Thousands still suffer the deep and lasting physical and psychological scars of war.
A scar that has been left on all of us is how Vietnam War veterans did not always receive the respect and gratitude they deserved upon their return home.
This national day of honor is part of a national effort to recognize those men and women who were denied such proper welcome upon returning home 48 years ago and begins to reflect “our everlasting commitment to all Vietnam veterans.”
The author is a retired U.S. Air Force officer and a writer.