Skip to main content

Federation News

Vietnam Veterans Day - March 29

Vietnam Veterans Day - March 29
Posted: Mar 28, 2023
Categories: Committees
Comments: 0

From the NFRW Armed Services Committee

By Christine Benedict

Today and every March 29, Vietnam Veterans Day is set aside as a day for Americans to honor the courage and sacrifice of those who served in the Vietnam War.  Officially designated in 2017 as National Vietnam War Veterans Day by President Donald Trump, the holiday is marked by ceremonies and recognition across the U.S.. 

The Vietnam War was a conflict that pitted the communist government of North Vietnam, known as the Viet Cong, and its allies in South Vietnam against the government of South Vietnam and its principal ally, the United States. The conflict in Vietnam lasted from 1954 to 1975.  Vietnam had such a presence in my life that it almost seems impossible for someone not to remember those horrible years. Yet, many younger Americans don’t know or recall what it was all about. For the United States, it began when the U.S. provided funding, armaments, and training to South Vietnam during the Kennedy administration.

Then in 1961, U.S. President John F. Kennedy chose to expand the military aid program. The terms of this expansion included yet more funding and arms, but a key alteration was the commitment of U.S. soldiers to the region. President Kennedy believed that if communism took hold in Vietnam, it would topple democracies throughout Southeast Asia.

President Kennedy was assassinated in 1963, but his successor, Lyndon B. Johnson, continued the work that Kennedy had started. President Johnson raised the number of South Vietnam deployments to 23,000 U.S. soldiers by the end of his first year in office.

Political turbulence there and two alleged North Vietnamese attacks on U.S. naval vessels spurred President Johnson to demand the passage of the Gulf of Tonkin Resolution in 1964. It granted him broad latitude in handling the struggle against communism in Southeast Asia.

However, the Vietnam War did not have the backing of a number of our citizens, and finally in 1975 President Nixon chose to end our deployment of service members to the region. South Vietnam soon fell to the communist regime. Vietnam service men and women were not treated well by the general population, and it took years before they were given the recognition for their sacrifices. 

Please take time today to recognize and thank every Vietnam Veteran you know.  It was a war to remember!



Documents to download

Please login or register to post comments.