National Vietnam War Veterans Day
Is National Vietnam War Veterans Day a Public Holiday?
The Vietnam War Veterans Recognition Act of 2017 establishes the day as a national observance. However, it is not an official holiday in any part of the United States.
Vietnam War Veterans Day Events
All across the United States, commemorative events like wreath-laying ceremonies, speeches, and luncheons are held to mark the occasion. Typical venues include the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington DC, war veteran medical facilities, and military cemeteries.
First Observed in 2012
Vietnam War Veterans Day was first observed as a one-time occasion on March 29, 2012, when President Barack Obama issued a proclamation calling on “all Americans to observe this day with appropriate programs, ceremonies, and activities.”
The day was then introduced as an annual event in 2017 when President Donald Trump signed the Vietnam War Veterans Recognition Act of 2017.
Vietnam War History
Lasting from 1955 to 1975, the Vietnam war engulfed the Southeast Asian country of Vietnam as well as its neighboring countries, Cambodia and Laos. It resulted in several million deaths, most of whom were Vietnamese civilians.
The conflict began during the 1950s when the struggle between the country's communist northern part and the anti-communist south escalated. The United States began its military involvement in an effort to back the South's effort to quell the communist onslaught, which, at the height of the Cold War, was feared to promote the spread of communist ideology and influence worldwide. During the war, about 500,000 US troops were dispatched to Southeast Asia, about 58,000 of whom were killed.
The conflict ended in 1975 with the fall of Saigon and the victory of North Vietnam.