Vietnam War Veterans Day is March 29

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Last year, it was brought to my attention that Vietnam War Veterans Day is March 29. A Vietnam veteran that called the office to point out our newspaper hadn’t mentioned it. Until he called, I didn’t know there was a Vietnam War Veterans Day.

After he called, I realized I’d been getting Vietnam-related nudges in the days leading up this important day. The late John McCain, who survived five and a half years as a POW, was in the news. One day National Public Radio featured Born in the USA by Bruce Springsteen on Morning Edition’s American Anthem series. The next day NPR shared a story about Agent Orange cleanup at former storage spots in Vietnam. These references weren’t enough to make me dig deeper and notice Vietnam War Veterans Day. The phone call from the disappointed veteran did. 

I found this information on the website of the National Conference of State Legislatures: 

“Vietnam War Veterans Day commemorates the sacrifices of Vietnam 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.

The Vietnam War Veterans Recognition Act, signed into law in 2017, designates March 29 of each year as National Vietnam War Veterans Day.

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 On that day in 1973, the last combat troops were withdrawn from Vietnam and the last prisoners of war held in North Vietnam arrived on American soil.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.” 

Current events have interfered with a proper commemoration of this day, but we remember. Thank you for your service then. Thank you for your service now. I know you haven’t forgotten us.

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