President Donald Trump last week signed legislation authored by U.S. Sen. Pat Toomey designating each March 29 as National Vietnam War Veterans Day.
The Vietnam War Veterans Recognition Act represents the first federal statute recognizing the bravery and sacrifice of veterans who served during the Vietnam War.
“In many cases, Vietnam veterans did not receive the warm welcome they earned when they came home,” Toomey said. “Thankfully, in the years following the Vietnam War, people and organizations across the country took it upon themselves to right this wrong by honoring the sacrifice and dedication to service our Vietnam veterans displayed. Permanently designating March 29 as National Vietnam War Veterans Day is a small, yet significant step, in these efforts.”
The act was supported by the Vietnam Veterans of America and Veterans of Foreign Wars.
Toomey and Indiana Sen. Joe Donnelly introduced the bill in February. The bill unanimously passed the Senate and House of Representatives.
Toomey explained that, since Richard Nixon in 1974, presidents have annually issued a proclamation recognizing Vietnam War veterans.
The lawmaker wanted a more formal recognition of March 29, 1973, the date that American combat troops withdrew from South Vietnam.
U.S. residents are encouraged to fly the American flag each March 29. ••