Today marks the First Annual Vietnam Veterans Day, honoring Vietnam vets across the country. The legislation marking the day was signed into law by President Trump on Tuesday.
Tonight I'm proud to sign S. 305, which encourages the display of the U.S. flag on National Vietnam War Veterans Day tomorrow, March 29th. pic.twitter.com/IetZyMD4F9
— President Trump (@POTUS) March 29, 2017
From Fox News:
Wednesday marks a monumental day in U.S. history. Exactly 44 years ago on March 29, 1973, the last remaining American troops withdrew from Vietnam, and President Nixon declared “the day we have all worked and prayed for has finally come.”
Many veterans were treated poorly upon returning home because the war was unpopular, and they blamed the tragic situation in Vietnam on the troops.
But 44 years later, those veterans are finally receiving official recognition thanks to efforts from Indiana Sen. Joe Donnelly.
Donnelly co-authored the Vietnam War Veterans Recognition Act (S. 305) with U.S. Sen. Pat Toomey from Pennsylvania.
The Senate approved the bipartisan bill on February 8, and it was approved by the House on March 21. President Trump signed the bill into effect last night.
For more information about this day, WITF/York
As he turned 19 in Vietnam, Army Sgt. Harold Redding’s thoughts drifted from finishing his tour and going home to Spring Grove to what if he didn’t survive the war.
He said he asked himself, “Who would remember me?”
Redding did make it through the war, and for more than the past two years has worked, lobbied and campaigned for a national day to specifically remember Vietnam War veterans, living and dead.
While there are Vietnam War memorials in Washington D.C. and throughout the states, including here in York, there is no day on which those war veterans are remembered and honored for their service in Vietnam.
Monday, Redding joined Sen. Pat Toomey, R-Pa., in a teleconference call. Toomey, who sponsored a bill prompted by Redding’s efforts, said the bill had made it through Congress and is waiting only for a presidential signature.
Although some American troops remained in Vietnam until the fall of Saigon, the last combat soldiers choppered out on March 29, 1973.
Those of us who grew up in the 60’s fully remember the receptions that Vietnam Vets received upon returning from the battlefield. As a soldier would walk through the airport terminal on his way home, he would be spat upon, called names like “baby killers” and suffer even worse indignities. Meanwhile, the remained stoic to the attacks, and for most of them, came home to lead productive lives.
I pray that as years go by, Vietnam Veterans Day becomes a well respected day honoring our Vietnam Vet brothers.