March 29 is National Vietnam War Veterans Day

March 29 is National Vietnam War Veterans Day. It marks the day the last U.S. troops left South Vietnam, which ended America’s direct military involvement in 1973.

The special day is set aside for people who served during that long conflict. Most of them returned to be disrespected, shamed and dishonored for their many sacrifices.

In 2012, President Barack Obama signed a presidential proclamation designating March 29 as the annual observance of Vietnam War Veterans Day, marking the 50th anniversary of the departure of the last American troops from Vietnam.

More recently, President Donald J. Trump signed the Vietnam War Veterans Recognition Act of 2017 on March 28, 2017 to officially recognize March 29 as National Vietnam War Veterans Day. The act encourages the display of the U.S. flag each year on March 29.

Millions of brave Americans served their country in this conflict, and 58,000 individuals made the ultimate sacrifice, and 1,677 Americans remain missing and unaccounted for, including 27 from Connecticut.

On Tuesday in Greenwich there will be a gathering on Greenwich Avenue at the war memorial in front of the Havemeyer building at 10:00am, followed by a gathering at the Byram Veterans Memorial Tree Grove in Eugene Morlot Park (near Hamill Rink) at 11:00am. Afterward, there will be a gathering at the Byram Veterans Hall, 300 Delavan Ave, at 12:00 noon.

Vietnam, veteran, war memorial monument at Havemeyer
A Veteran reflects beside the war monument listing lives lost in Vietnam. Credit Asher Almonacy for GFP

“We really would like to get as many as possible of Vietnam Veterans to know about the event,” said David Wold, a member of the Byram Veterans Association.

“March 29 of 2012 was the  Commemoration of the 50th year anniversary of the Vietnam  War, a war that saw the loss of almost 59,000 U.S. servicemen and divided our country as never before,” said Don Sylvester, Commander, Byram Veterans Association.

“But it was also a war that defined our country by the unselfish, patriotic and devoted men who were unwavering when they answered  that call by their country,” he added. “Fearing not what was ahead but what can be lost behind – something we thank all that have worn that uniform in our 246-year history.”