Friday, March 29 is National Vietnam War Veterans Day.
The Hampden Township Veterans Recognition Committee, in conjunction with Lower Allen VFW Post 7530 and Mechanicsburg VFW Post 6704, will be conducting a ceremony to thank and honor all United States veterans who served regardless of location between Nov. 1, 1955, and May 15, 1975.
Veterans who served during this period will be recognized and presented the Vietnam Veterans Lapel Pin.
The ceremony will begin at 6 p.m. March 29 at the Hampden Township Veterans Park, 4345 Marketplace Way, Enola. Parking is available in the Giant Foods Store parking lot across from the park entrance.
The program will include a presentation of colors performed by the Pennsylvania VFW Minutemen Color Guard and a joint Field Cross and Honor Guard salute performed by the Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 7530 of Lower Allen and American Legion Post 751 of Enola.
The ceremony is open to the public.
More than 58,000 Americans died in the Vietnam War – between South Vietnam and the communist North Vietnam.
The United States became involved in November 1955. The war continued until April 30, 1975 – the fall of Saigon.
The Vietnam War bitterly divided Americans.
“The Vietnam War was a long, costly and divisive conflict that pitted the communist government of North Vietnam against South Vietnam and its principal ally, the United States. The conflict was intensified by the ongoing Cold War between the United States and the Soviet Union,” according to history.com.
Protests against the war were common. In October of 1967 about 35,000 people joined a protest outside the Pentagon.
According to history.com, a protest on Nov. 15, 1969, was “the largest anti-war demonstration in American history” in Washington, D.C. More than 250,000 Americans gathered to support the withdrawal of American troops from Vietnam.
To search a database of Pennsylvanians who died in Vietnam, click here.
Major battles of the Vietnam War included:
The Battle of Ia Drang, Nov. 14-18, 1965.
Battle of Khe Sanh, Jan. 21-April 9, 1968
Tet Offensive, Jan. 30-March 28, 1968
Hamburger Hill, May 10-20, 1969
National Vietnam War Veterans Day was established in 2017 with The Vietnam War Veterans Recognition Act.
The commemoration makes no distinction between veterans who served in-county, in-theater, or were stationed elsewhere during those 20 years.
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