DAR chapter marks Vietnam War Veterans Day

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The Daughters of the American Revolution’s Thomas Hadley Chapter held a ceremony at the Wilson County Courthouse last Friday to observe Vietnam War Veterans Day and recognize veterans who served in the U.S. military during the Vietnam War.

The ceremony included the flying of a commemorative Vietnam War flag emblazoned with the words, “A grateful nation thanks and honors you.”

Vietnam War Veterans Day is a national holiday. In a March 29, 2012 proclamation, President Barack Obama called for “all Americans to observe this day with appropriate programs, ceremonies and activities that commemorate the 50-year anniversary of the Vietnam War.”

On March 28, 2017, President Donald Trump signed the Vietnam War Veterans Recognition Act of 2017, which amended Title 4 of the U.S. Code to encourage flying the American flag on Vietnam War Veterans Day.

The holiday is observed March 29, the date the last prisoners of war were returned and all combat troops were withdrawn from Vietnam. The recognition of Vietnam veterans joins, but does not replace, national Veterans Day celebrated on Nov. 11.

“Being one of the longest and most unpopular wars in U.S. history, involvement in Vietnam was a divisive factor in the country as well as in much of Europe and Australia,” the local DAR chapter said in a statement. “Many of the veterans who returned home did not receive proper recognition or respect and were subjects of protest and abuse. As time passed, however, public sentiment began to soften and while many people still feel the war was a mistake, they now realize these veterans were doing their duty to the country by serving in Vietnam. It is, therefore, altogether fitting and timely to honor all Vietnam veterans on their special day.”