Secretary of Veterans Affairs Denis McDonough and Secretary of Defense Lloyd J. Austin III honored Vietnam War Veterans during a ceremony at the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington, D.C., March 29, 2021.
Using COVID-19 protocols, McDonough and Austin joined a small audience to pay honor to the 58,279 names on The Wall and the 6.2 million living Vietnam Veterans.
“I was down here at The Wall with Secretary Austin to say welcome home and thank you on behalf of a grateful nation to our Vietnam Vets here on Vietnam War Veterans Day,” McDonough said.
Surrounded by military members and Vietnam Veterans, McDonough and Austin placed a wreath at The Wall. After the ceremony, McDonough visited the Vietnam Women’s Memorial, located a short walk from The Wall.
“It’s very powerful,” he said. “It’s very moving, and it’s fitting at the end of Women’s History Month that we just stop here for a moment to pay our respects also. I express our gratitude on behalf of a grateful nation to the women Veterans from the Vietnam War and to say to them, ‘Thank you.'”
National Vietnam War Veterans Day is March 29, marking the day U.S. Military Assistance Command, Vietnam, disestablished on March 29, 1973.
This is the fourth anniversary of the day and second year in a row events will be largely virtual due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Vietnam Veteran Lapel Pins
The Vietnam Veteran Lapel Pin has become “a lasting memento of the Nation’s thanks.” Living U.S. Veterans who served on active duty in the U.S. Armed Forces at any time during the period of November 1, 1955, to May 15, 1975, regardless of location, are eligible to receive one lapel pin.
Normally, Veterans receive these lapel pins during public ceremonies. However, if there is no commemorative event planned in your area, eligible veterans can visit vietnamwar50th.com and click on “How can I get a Vietnam Veteran Lapel Pin?” Veterans will receive this via mail at the earliest opportunity.
Listen to Army Veteran Peter Aylward talk about the commemoration.
Read the story behind The Wall.