There were no ticker-tape parades honoring the veterans, no triumphant marches or speeches as there at been at the end of each of the World Wars. America’s Vietnam veterans returned home to silence, or worse, in some cases to denigration for having served their country during a controversial war.
March 30, 2012, has been officially designated “Welcome Home Vietnam Veterans Day.”
The text of the announcement of the resolution’s passage appears below.
Washington D.C – The U.S. Senate yesterday 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 and events that honor these veterans for their service. It’s time they receive 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 Richard Burr.
Senator Burr introduced the resolution for the second consecutive year on February 16, 2011. Click here to read Senator Burr’s remarks on the introduction of the resolution.
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 combat troops were sent into Vietnam. On March 30, 1973, after many years of combat, all US troops withdrew. More than 58,000 members of the United States Armed Forces lost their lives and more than 300,000 were wounded in Vietnam.
So on March 30, make a special effort to say, “Welcome Home.”