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Missouri Honors Vietnam Veterans Today

PHOTO: The sacrifices and service of those who served in the Vietnam War will be honored at ceremonies across the state today, as Missouri observes its third Vietnam Veterans Day. Photo credit: taliesin/morguefile.com
PHOTO: The sacrifices and service of those who served in the Vietnam War will be honored at ceremonies across the state today, as Missouri observes its third Vietnam Veterans Day. Photo credit: taliesin/morguefile.com
March 30, 2015

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. - It's been nearly 40 years since the official end of the Vietnam War and today Missouri honors the sacrifices of all those who served in the conflict. Many Vietnam veterans came home to find the country in the midst of the anti-establishment, anti-war movement of the late 1960s and early 1970s.

Daniel Bell, public information officer with the Missouri Veterans Commission, says today's observance of Vietnam Veterans Day gives Missourians a chance to make up for the past.

"Vietnam veterans were not welcomed home in the same manner that your World War II, Korea, and your current returning veterans were treated," says Bell. "This is just a way of recognizing their sacrifices and their service to our country."

According to the Veterans' Administration, there are more than 171,000 Vietnam-era veterans living in Missouri. President Ronald Reagan proclaimed the first National Vietnam Veterans Day on April 23rd, 1976. Since then 38 states including Missouri have declared their own Vietnam Veterans Day commemorations.

Bell encourages Missourians to attend one of the many parades or ceremonies taking place across the state today, adding any day can be a good day to honor a veteran.

"If you see a veteran on the street, just go up and thank them for their service," says Bell. "Sometimes just the simplest 'thank you' is really all they are looking for."

Today marks the third observance of Vietnam Veterans Day in Missouri. The state's official Vietnam Veterans memorial will be dedicated in Branson next month.

Mona Shand, Public News Service - MO