We commemorate those who fought in the Vietnam War on National Vietnam War Veterans Day, March 29. There’s no doubt that the Vietnam War was one of the most brutal. In fact, over three million people were killed during the 20 years it went on. It was known as the Second Indochina War to Americans, and considering its long fighting time and brutality, National Vietnam War Veterans Day was created to honor all the men and women who fought during its time.
The Vietnam War has a long history. It was one of the longest wars involving America. Starting in 1955, the war went on until 1975, making it the second-longest war, aside from the ongoing Afghanistan War. Over 2.7 million Americans served during this war In 1973. All combat and support units withdrew from Vietnam following the war, but it continued to have an impact on many of the families and people affected by the war.
National Vietnam War Veterans Day is acknowledged on March 29 every year, honoring anyone who served during its 20-year time. Since respect and combat support wasn’t immediately given to those who served after the war ended because of the number of deaths, the day was founded in 2017 to finally offer that respect to everyone involved.
Understanding that it wasn’t the soldiers’ choices to go to war, U.S. Senators Pat Toomey, R-Pa., and Joe Donnelly, D-Ind., introduced the legislation proposing the anniversary of the withdrawal of military units from South Vietnam as the date. It was President Donald Trump who signed the Act on March 29, calling for U.S. flags to be flown on this day to honor everyone who served during this time, whether they were in Vietnam or not.
Every year since it was founded in 2017, this national day has continued to be recognized on March 29. Aside from honoring those who fought, four other parts of this day that are meant to be highlighted are the service of the Armed Forces and support organizations during the war; the wartime contributions at home; the advancements in technology, science, and medicine; and the contributions by American allies.
Every Sunday morning at St. Anthony’s Church on the south side of Milwaukee, my parish since birth, a Hispanic gentleman sits in the last pew with a friend of his. He and I always exchange pleasantries. Throughout the year he proudly wears shirts, caps, and jackets about his military service. This was back in June.
June 28, 2022, was extremely special in Franklin.
The Wall That Heals, a three-quarter scale replica of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial along with a mobile Education Center, came to Franklin and was on display from June 30th, through Sunday, July 3rd, 2 p.m., at Franklin High School. The Wall was open 24 hours a day and free to the public.
The touching exhibit arrived in Franklin after its tour stop in Chisholm, Minnesota.
At the of the Wall’s run I blogged on July 3rd:
Help is desperately needed to tear down and pack up the replica. Not nearly enough people have volunteered to do the job. I’m told it’s not very strenuous. They just need people, and lots of them.
Those of you with Fitbits and Apple watches wanting to get your steps in…this would be ideal.
Can you, will you help?
Dozens of people turned out.
The effort took 2.5 hours. “Fast pack up” according to the Wall folks.
The Michelle Stempniewski Wienke family of Franklin pitched in.