The U.S. Senate has declared March 30th as “Welcome Home Vietnam Veterans Day,” agreeing unanimously to a resolution introduced by Senator Richard Burr (R-N.C.), Ranking Member of the Senate Committee on Veterans’ Affairs.
On March 30, 1973, all U.S. troops withdrew from Vietnam under the terms of the Treaty of Paris. This March 30th, the Senate has encouraged Americans across the country to recognize Vietnam veterans for their sacrifice and demonstrate a warm welcome to these soldiers who returned from war to a politically divided country.
“I’m pleased that the Senate has agreed to set aside a day to give our Vietnam veterans a warm, long-overdue welcome home. I strongly encourage communities throughout North Carolina and across the country to observe this day with activities that honor these veterans for their service. It’s time they received the recognition they have earned and deserve. This day also provides our nation with an important teaching moment. Never again should our men and women serving in the armed forces receive the same treatment as those returning from Vietnam,” said Senator Burr.
The United States became involved in Vietnam because policy-makers believed that if South Vietnam fell to a communist government, communism would spread throughout the rest of Southeast Asia. The US Armed Forces began serving in an advisory role to the South Vietnamese in 1961, and in 1965, ground troops were sent into Vietnam. On March 30, 1973, after many years of combat, all US troops withdrew. More than 58,000members of the United States Armed forces lost their lives and more than 3000,000 were wounded in Vietnam.
Senators John Boozman (R-AR), Thad Cochran (R-MS), James Inhofe (R-OK), and Johnny Isakson (R-NE) co-sponsored the legislation. The resolution now moves to the House of Representatives for consideration.
The Bill Text is below:
February 16, 2011
- Resolved, That the Senate--
- (1) honors and recognizes the contributions of veterans who served in the United States Armed Forces in Vietnam during war and during peace;
- (2) encourages States and local governments to also establish `Welcome Home Vietnam Veterans Day'; and
- (3) encourages the people of the United States to observe `Welcome Home Vietnam Veterans Day' with appropriate ceremonies and activities that--
- (A) provide the appreciation Vietnam War veterans deserve, but did not receive upon returning home from the war;
- (B) demonstrate the resolve that never again shall the Nation disregard and denigrate a generation of veterans;
- (C) promote awareness of the faithful service and contributions of such veterans during their military service as well as to their communities since returning home;
- (D) promote awareness of the importance of entire communities empowering veterans and the families of veterans to readjust to civilian life after military service; and
- (E) promote opportunities for such veterans to assist younger veterans returning from the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan in rehabilitation from wounds, both seen and unseen, and to support the reintegration of younger veterans into civilian life.
Track the bill at Gov Track.
Hat Tip to David F. Sherrill
My hometown has already celebrated Vietnam Veterans Day, having first done so in 2009. I hope that they continue the tradition this year. I have embedded video I took of the 2009 celebration, as well as links to coverage by two other citizen journalists below:
This is the first Vietnam Veterans Day Parade held in Franklin, NC on March 28, 2009 to honor Vietnam Veterans for their service, and to remember those who fell in service to the nation.
Excellent coverage of this event was accomplished by other citizen journalists present that day:
My Town Franklin
The complete ceremony recognizing our Vietnam Veterans is below:
(there are several videos in the playlist)
This is the Ceremony that marked Vietnam Veterans Day in Franklin, NC on Saturday, March 28, 2009.