Today, veterans of the Vietnamese War, which ended in 1975, were finally welcomed home officially in Pennsylvania.
Ceremonies were held across the Commonwealth, including in Reading, to welcome home the veterans who were never officially celebrated as heroes and instead often faced hostility upon their arrival home after having served their country with honor in a noble cause for liberty. The Pennsylvania General Assembly passed a resolution declaring March 30, 2012 as “Welcome Home Vietnam Veterans Day.” Numerous state and federal elected officials participated in the events. My father was among the Vietnamese War veterans who spoke at the ceremony in Reading at the Vietnamese War memorial in City Park. The day was justly intended to right the wrong of the disrespect shown to the veterans of the unpopular war and to emphasize the necessity of supporting and honoring the troops, regardless of the popularity of their cause.
Although the United States never lost a battle in the Vietnamese War, the Communist North Vietnamese took over the Republic of Vietnam (South Vietnam). Nevertheless, the war represented a campaign in the broader Cold War between the Communist Soviet Union and the U.S. The American victory in the Cold War was partly gained by the Vietnamese War, despite the Communist takeover of South Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia, as it prevented further Communist advances and forced the Soviets to expend resources it could less afford to expend than the Americans. The defeat of Soviet Communism liberated tens of millions of people around the world.
Let us continue to oppose tyranny and support liberty around the world, including in Communist Vietnam and Laos. Let us never allow opposition to a war to be expressed as hostility to the soldiers tasked to fight it for their country. I thank all the American and allied veterans of the Vietnamese War for their service to the cause of liberty. Welcome, home Vietnamese War veterans.
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