Vietnam: Commemorating the 50th Anniversary
At the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington, D.C., on Memorial Day, National Commander Donald Samuels and President Barack Obama began a national commemoration of the 50th anniversary of the Vietnam War.
The official commemoration is slated to span 13 years—the length of time the United States spent building up its major combat presence in Vietnam to more than a half-million troops under three presidents.
In his proclamation for the commemoration, the President hinted at the domestic strife that marked the war, referring to its veterans as those “who saw our country through one of the most challenging missions we have ever faced.”
“It is never too late to pay tribute to the men and women who answered the call of duty with courage and valor,” he said, evoking the call to “separate the warrior from the war,” however long after the fact that would come.
Samuels, who is himself a combat-wounded veteran of the Vietnam War, laid a wreath at the wall.
“As the nation marks the 50th anniversary of the Vietnam War, we remember with the highest regard the bravery of a generation of Americans who fought with honor,” Samuels said. “We salute the men and women who put their lives on hold and in danger to answer the call half a world away.”