VA Commemoration of the 50th Anniversary of the Vietnam War


(orchestral music) Hello, I’m Robert Wilkie. On behalf of the Department
of Veterans Affairs and the Veterans we are
deeply honored to serve, I want to say thank you to our country’s more than six million
living Vietnam Veterans and their families. This day has deep resonance with me. My father served multiple tours in Vietnam and was gravely wounded in
the invasion of Cambodia, so badly wounded that he spent
a year in an Army hospital before he was allowed to come home. Three years ago, President Trump signed the Vietnam War Veterans
Recognition Act into law. That act designates every March 29th as National Vietnam War Veterans Day. It was March 29th, 1973, when the last of our
combat troops left Vietnam. It was on that day that the
last American prisoners of war held in North Vietnam came home. Last year, in ceremonies
across the nation, VA employees directly thanked and presented commemorative lapel pins to more than 80,000 Vietnam Veterans for their service and sacrifices
some five decades ago. Today, we continue to
honor the nine million American men and women
who served on active duty from November 1st, 1955, to May 7th, 1975. We solemnly remember more than 58,000 whose names are etched into the Vietnam Memorial’s
polished black granite, permanent reminders of
the price of freedom. I urge you all to take this opportunity to show your gratitude to this proud generation
of American servicemembers who suffered so much and yet
received so little thanks upon their return. Let’s make it up to them. Let’s make it up to them this year by saying, “Thank you and welcome home.” May God bless all of you, your families, and this great nation. (orchestral music)

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