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Tuesday is National Vietnam War Veterans Day, a day when Americans thank and honor all those who served in the U.S. military during Vietnam War.
The relatively new military holiday was signed into law by President Trump in 2017, five years after President Obama proclaimed the holiday in 2012, according to White House press release archives.
In his proclamation, Obama explained why it is important to create and recognize National Vietnam War Veterans Day.
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He wrote that the Vietnam War is “a story of patriots who braved the line of fire, who cast themselves into harm’s way to save a friend, who fought hour after hour, day after day to preserve the liberties we hold dear.”
“Yet, in one of the war’s most profound tragedies, many of these men and women came home to be shunned or neglected — to face treatment unbefitting their courage and a welcome unworthy of their example,” the proclamation continued later. “We must never let this happen again.”
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The proclamation went on to explain that National Vietnam War Veterans Day is a way to “reaffirm one of our most fundamental obligations: to show all who have worn the uniform of the United States the respect and dignity they deserve, and to honor their sacrifice by serving them as well as they served us.”
March 29 was chosen as the day to honor Vietnam War veterans because on March 29, 1973, the last of America’s troops left Vietnam and the Military Assistance Command, Vietnam was disestablished, according to the Vietnam War Commemoration.
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The U.S. military was involved in Vietnam starting in the mid-50s and the last American personnel were evacuated from Vietnam in April 1975, according to the Vietnam War Commemoration.
During the Vietnam War, more than 58,000 Americans were killed and “many thousands more” were wounded, injured or determined missing, according to the Department of Defense.
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Today, National Vietnam War Veterans Day honors everyone who served on active duty in the U.S. military from Nov. 1, 1955, to May 15, 1975, the Vietnam War Commemoration says on its website. In all, more than 9 million Americans served, according to a Department of Veterans Affairs blog post.
“We make no distinction between veterans who served in-country, in-theater, or who were stationed elsewhere during the Vietnam War period,” the Commemoration website explains. “All were called to serve and none could self-determine where they would serve.”
Today, there are believed to be more than 6 million living Vietnam War veterans living in the U.S. and abroad, according to the Vietnam War Commemoration.
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One of the best ways that people can commemorate National Vietnam War Veterans Day is to thank the Vietnam War veterans in their life.
NationalToday.com recommends talking with family members who may have been involved either in the military or at home during the war, as long as they feel comfortable talking about it. The website also suggests donating money to the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund.
The Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund will also be hosting a ceremony that will be livestreamed on its website and Facebook page.
Local organizations are also hosting ceremonies that honor local Vietnam War veterans.
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Source URL: https://www.foxnews.com/lifestyle/national-vietnam-war-veterans-day-history