The Department of Veterans Affairs announced March 24 it will conduct hundreds of events in VA facilities across the nation on Mar. 29 to recognize, honor and thank U.S. Vietnam veterans and their families for their service and sacrifices as part of the national Vietnam War Commemoration.
VA Secretary Robert McDonald will host a wreath-laying ceremony at the Vietnam Veterans Memorial — “The Wall” to initiate VA’s contribution to the Commemoration. He will be joined by Defense Secretary Ashton Carter. “We are proud to partner with the Department of Defense in this endeavor. Carter’s Vietnam War Commemoration staff has greatly assisted us in planning this humble tribute to our Vietnam Veterans and their families.”
The VA, along with more than 9,000 organizations across the country, has joined with the Department of Defense as a Commemorative Partner to help Americans honor our nation’s Vietnam veterans.
Authorized by Congress, established under the Secretary of Defense, and launched by the president in May 2012, the Vietnam War Commemoration recognizes all men and women who served on active duty in the U.S. Armed Forces from Nov. 1, 1955, to May 15, 1975. Nine million Americans, approximately 7 million living today, served during that period, and the Commemoration makes no distinction between veterans who served in-county, in-theater, or were stationed elsewhere during those 20 years. All answered the call of duty.
“This commemoration has special significance for those of us at VA because of our honored mission to serve those who have “borne the battle,” said McDonald. “It’s also an opportunity to remember our VA colleagues who served in this generation of veterans, to extend our heartfelt appreciation to them and to their families who shared the burden of their loved one’s service.”
More than 329 VA medical centers, regional benefit offices and national cemeteries will host events, many in partnership with local veteran service organizations and volunteers.
By presidential proclamation issued on May 25, 2012, the commemoration extends from its inaugural event on Memorial Day 2012 through Veterans Day 2025.
Commemorative Partners — local, state and national organizations, businesses, corporations and governmental agencies — have committed to publicly thank and honor Vietnam Veterans and their families on behalf of the nation and have pledged to host a minimum of two events annually.
To learn more about the Vietnam War Commemoration, go to www.vietnamwar50th.com.