UPDATED 7:05 PM PT – Monday, March 29, 2021
Monday marked Vietnam War Veterans Day, which signified 48 years to the day the last American combat troops left the South Asian nation. On this day, the U.S. honors the over three million Americans who served in the conflict and the nearly 60,000 who perished in the war.
On March 29, 1973 the last U.S. combat troops left Vietnam. More than 3 million Americans served & 58,279 men and women made the ultimate sacrifice. To our Vietnam veterans, thank you for your service and welcome home. A grateful nation honors you. #NationalVietnamWarVeteransDay pic.twitter.com/OPCOuiOvb3
— Vietnam Vet Memorial (@VVMF) March 29, 2021
Furthermore, back in 2017, Congress passed the Vietnam War Veterans Recognition Act. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin notably laid a wreath at the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Monday in D.C. as part of observations around the nation.
Some veterans took Monday to encourage others to reflect on and be open about their experiences in the war.
Today is National #VietnamWarVeteransDay, marking the day in 1973 when the U.S. Military Assistance Command in Vietnam was disestablished. On this date, we honor Vietnam vets and thank them for their service and sacrifice. pic.twitter.com/YhtXmOxlmF
— Department of Defense 🇺🇸 (@DeptofDefense) March 29, 2021
“On the 29th, I think it’s a chance for Vietnam vets to reevaluate who we are, what we are, what we accomplished, and be proud of it,” stated Vietnam War Veteran Barney Barnum. “Be proud that you served and be grateful that you had the opportunity. And for God’s sake, don’t be afraid to talk about it. Tell people what you did over there…Being a vet is an honor, it really is.”
Though U.S. troops left the conflict in 1973, the Vietnam War did not formally end until the Fall of Saigon in April 1975.