More than forty years after the end of the war in Vietnam, American GIs who served in Nam still can’t get respect from the U.S. media.
Today marks the first annual National Vietnam Veterans Day per an act of Congress signed into law on Tuesday by President Donald Trump.
Yet there is no report by the Associated Press to be found. A search of the AP News website only returns a Today in History article noting the last U.S. combat troops withdrew from South Vietnam on March 29, 1973 but no mention of Vietnam Veterans Day.
“On this date: …In 1973, the last United States combat troops left South Vietnam, ending America’s direct military involvement in the Vietnam War.”
President Trump signed in to law on Tuesday an act of Congress that honors Vietnam veterans with their own day of recognition, according to a White House statement.
The Vietnam War Veterans Recognition Act of 2017 designates every March 29 as National Vietnam War Veterans Day and calls for the U.S. flag to be flown that day to honor those who served in Vietnam. The bill was co-sponsored by Sen. Pat Toomey (R-PA) and Sen. Joe Donnelly (D-IN). The bill passed the Senate last month and cleared the House last week.
The Three Soldiers Statue, part of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington, D.C., image via Pinterest.
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 45 Archived (@POTUS45) March 29, 2017
The Olean Times Herald reported on the bill.
When U.S. veterans returned home from serving in Vietnam, many were spat on and called filthy names.
More than 40 years later, veterans near and far will be recognized for their military service as part of National Vietnam War Veterans Day.
U.S. Sens. Pat Toomey, R-Pa., and Joe Donnelly, D-Ind., co-introduced legislation to honor Vietnam veterans on March 29 each year on what is the anniversary when combat and combat support units withdrew from South Vietnam in 1973. The measure, expected to get President Donald Trump’s signature soon, passed in the House of Representatives March 21 and in the Senate Feb. 3.
Toomey, who held a telephone news conference Monday afternoon about National Vietnam War Veterans Day, said Vietnam veterans did not receive proper respect or gratitude when returning home.
“Some of them were actually treated quite poorly,” he said. “And that was a tragic period in our history driven by people’s perceptions of the war. Fortunately, that, I think, is behind us now. And I hope and I believe we’ve gotten to a place where the American people realize how much we really should be grateful to the men and the women who served this country in Vietnam during that very, very difficult time.”…
A Vietnam veteran whose hard work for the day of recognition paid off with Trump’s signature was featured in a report by WITF/York Daily Record.
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.
If Toomey’s bill is signed by President Trump, March 29 of each year will be designated as Vietnam Veterans Recognition Day…