On March 30th 1973, American forces officially withdrew from Vietnam. Our troops returned to their country to find discord among their fellow Americans. Many no longer felt welcome in the country they sacrificed to protect.
This March 30th, we recognize “Welcome Home Vietnam Veterans Day.” I introduced this resolution in the Senate to encourage Americans to thank Vietnam veterans for their service and offer them a belated welcome home. Due to the work of veterans and veterans’ advocacy groups across the country, local and state governments are joining in and adopting similar resolutions of their own. Communities are hosting events to thank those among them for their service.
We cannot right the wrong done to the men and women who served in Vietnam, but we can make an effort to recognize their service and thank them for entering harm’s way. American servicemen and women in Vietnam took a strong stand against a very powerful and very real threat of communism. They protected our freedoms and those of the Vietnamese people. What they accomplished has made an enormous impact on the world today – a world where people are fighting to secure and protect democracy in their own countries.
To those who served in this war: thank you. And a belated welcome home. You served your country well. Your sacrifices helped preserve the freedoms that we enjoy today. We remember your service and those of your fallen comrades. God bless you.
For those who did not serve in Vietnam, please take a minute or two today to honor the Vietnam veterans among your friends, family, and communities.
Marking one day for Vietnam veterans is a small token of appreciation. This day does not make up for the emotions that many of these veterans still struggle with; however, what happened during the Vietnam War is a powerful reminder that we must continue to respect and welcome home American troops returning from war today. And then we must immediately get to work to make sure we meet their needs.
Many thanks to each of you for the sacrifices you have made on behalf of all American citizens. Vietnam veterans, welcome home.
Senator Richard Burr
Ranking Member, U.S. Senate Committee on Veterans’ Affairs