Many Vietnam War veterans did not get the homecoming they deserved. Regardless of how unpopular the Vietnam War was at the time, our nation’s veterans deserved better than to be jeered and spat upon when they returned home. They, like generations of veterans before and after, served honorably, and bravely. Now, our nation is taking the time to remember them with a series of Vietnam War Commemorations. These ceremonies will be held over the next decade, through Veterans day of 2025.
The 2008 National Defense Authorization Act authorized the Secretary of Defense to conduct a program to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the Vietnam War. These commemorations will be held from to be held from May 28, 2012 – November 11, 2025. There will be a combination of national commemorations, and many more state and local events. The idea is to bring recognition to the veterans, and to help communities better understand our involvement in the Vietnam War, and how much our veterans mean to our communities.
A Grateful Nation Thanks and Honors You
The phrase, “A Grateful Nation Thanks and Honors You” graces the official United States of America Vietnam War Commemoration Flag. It is a reminder to all Vietnam Veterans that their sacrifices are not forgotten. It also serves as a reminder of their service to those who did not participate in the Vietnam War.
The United States of America Vietnam War Commemoration website was created to document the various commemoration ceremonies and the official seal and flag. You can learn more about the symbolism of the United States of America Vietnam War Commemoration Flag here, and more about the official seal. A lot of thought went into the symbolism for these emblems and I encourage you to spend a few moments to read about the symbolism.
Thanking Vietnam Veterans Today
There is no statute of limitations for honor. And we all need to remember and appreciate that. I think it’s a good thing the US Government decided to embrace the Vietnam Veterans community and commemorate the service and sacrifice they endured on behalf of our nation.
The following video brought a tear to my eye. I hope you will take two and a half minutes to watch it. This video says more in two minutes than I could say with a thousand words.
See the video on YouTube if the player doesn’t appear.
This video made me appreciate Vietnam Veterans for what they have endured since coming home. Instead of receiving the hero’s welcome many veterans in my generation received, Vietnam War veterans were jeered or ignored. They deserved a hero’s welcome. They did not receive it. Now it’s time to recognize them for their service and sacrifice.
If you know a Vietnam War veteran, please thank them for their service. Take them out for coffee or buy them a meal. Take time to listen to their stories if they are willing to share them. They deserve the respect of our nation.
Image credits: Vietnam War Memorial, Jaybyrdamw78CustomPhotos (used with permission), United States of America Vietnam War Commemoration Flag.