Vietnam Veterans Deserve Special Day of Recognition
The Times and Democrat
THE ISSUE: Vietnam Veterans Day
OUR OPINION: Today’s generations cannot understand what was faced by Vietnam vets in war − and at home
The Vietnam War remains controversial and misunderstood in the world of the 21st century, but there is clarity on a key point: American men and women died and were injured answering the call of the nation.
On March 29, 1973, the last U.S. troops left Vietnam, but they came home to a divided country still in the middle of social upheaval. They did not deserve the less-than-heroic and sometimes even ugly treatment they received as returning service members.
Toward reminding Americans of the sacrifices of Vietnam era veterans, March 29 is observed as Vietnam Veterans Day — a time for remembering that 58,000 Americans died in the war, with 300,000 wounded and 75,000 left severely disabled. From South Carolina alone, 896 died in Vietnam — 58 of them from Orangeburg County.
The Vietnam War is a story of service members of different backgrounds, colors and creeds coming together to complete a mission. It is a story of a war that left a permanent imprint that is only now beginning to be really understood.
Thousands of soldiers returned home bearing shrapnel and scars, but still more were burdened by the invisible wounds of post-traumatic stress, of Agent Orange, of memories that would never fade.
As reported by The Chicago Tribune, Illinois Congressman Dan Lipinski made an address on the House floor this week honoring the more than 3 million Americans who served in the Vietnam War.
“Lasting more than a decade, Vietnam defined a generation,” Lipinski said. “Over 58,000 Americans were killed, and those who did return home were not treated as the American heroes they are. In recent years, I’m grateful that most Americans have been able to put aside their opinions about specific military missions and have an unwavering commitment to our courageous men and women operating in dangerous places around the world.”
Lipinski said Vietnam Veterans Day is meant to reaffirm Americans’ respect and gratitude for those who served our nation in that war and show a generation of soldiers our gratitude. He asked colleagues to join him in participating in events not just this weekend, but every day, because that is what Vietnam veterans, and all our veterans, deserve.
Forty years later and for all time, we join Americans in saying thanks to Vietnam veterans and the special sacrifices they made in service of their country in a most difficult time.
Lawn Sign Volunteer Contribute Get Updates