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Vietnam Veterans Day

A Message from Secretary George Owings:

Why is Vietnam Veterans Day observed on two different dates?

On March 29, 1974 for the first time, Vietnam Veterans Day was declared by Presidential Order. March 29th was chosen because one year earlier on March 29,1973, the last combat troops were withdrawn from South Vietnam.

House Resolutions were introduced in many subsequent Congressional sessions designating March 29th as Vietnam Veterans Day.  Here is a link to one Resolution.  However, it wasn’t until 2017 that The Vietnam War Veterans Recognition Act of 2017 was finally signed into law making the observance a permanent one.  For even more information, check out the Vietnam War Commemoration Website. It is interesting here to note, that in 2011, a similar Resolution was introduced in the United States Senate designating March 30th as Welcome Home Vietnam Veterans Day, which may be why two different dates are now associated with recognizing Vietnam Veterans.

In Maryland during the 2015 Session of the Maryland General Assembly, legislation passed which was co-sponsored by Senator John Astle, a Vietnam Veteran and Delegate C.T. Wilson, a veteran of the Persian Gulf & Bosnia. In the bill, titled Commemorative Days – Welcome Home Vietnam Veterans Day (Chapter 1),  March 30th was designated the Day of Observance. Governor Larry Hogan immediately signed the legislation into law on the same day, March 30, 2015.  It was the first piece of legislation he signed as Governor of Maryland.

While there has been much debate over which day is correct or appropriate, and I mention here that Maryland is not the only state to observe March 30th as the day to Welcome Home Vietnam Veterans – I am of the opinion that we Vietnam Veterans did not receive recognition and appreciation when we came home.  If we are now welcomed home and thanked on BOTH March 29th and March 30th, well that is just fine with me.

I hope you will join with me in recognizing and thanking those who served.

The State of Maryland-Vietnam Veterans Day

Governor's Proclamation - Vietnam Veteran's Day

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