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Veterans mark Vietnam War anniversary

02 April 2018

"While you may not be members of what Tom Brokaw termed 'the greatest generation, ' you are the greatest members of your generation, the embodiment of all that makes America great".

It was "life changing", he said, to receive a positive, if belated, homecoming.

The Honor Guard fired a 21 gun salute and played "Taps" to honor the 58,479 military personnel that did not come home and all the Vietnam veterans who have passed since the wars end due to age, wounds, PTSD, Agent Orange and suicide.

Bishop noted this year marks the 50th anniversary of the Tet Offensive, some of the bloodiest fighting of the war.

"Were part of something bigger than Vietnam", Boland said.

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"We know we needed to do something for the veterans because we care for so many of them", said Tidewell Hospice President and CEO Gerry Radford said. "It's really nice to see that we can finally do that".

March 29 was chosen because that is when the last prisoners of war were released and returned home and all combat troops were withdrawn from the war zone.

"We had parades and a big ceremony".

"I chose to stay in to be with my buddies", Gayton said. "We weren't noticed for a long time", Harding said in Park Square on Saturday morning, during a ceremony honoring Vietnam War veterans.

In a keynote speech, retired Marine Corps veteran William "Bill" Gibney shared with the crowd the trajectory of his more than 20 years of service. When you consider just those 65 years and older, that number becomes 1 in every 8 Americans, and when you consider just men of that age, it's 1 in every 3.

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Today, I lead our Nation in somber reflection as we continue the 13-year Commemoration of the 50th Anniversary of the Vietnam War that began in 2012.

To ensure the sacrifices of the 9 million heroes who served during this hard chapter of our country's history are remembered for generations to come, I signed into law the Vietnam War Veterans Recognition Act of 2017, designating March 29 of each year as National Vietnam War Veterans Day. Whatever the specific method of service, all were affected in some way by that experience.

President Donald Trump signed legislation past year to mark National Vietnam War Veterans day as March 29.

Governor Henry McMaster will host the first annual South Carolina Vietnam War Veterans Day Thursday.

"It is important that we pause, remember and recognize the bravery of all who served and to do all we can to help heal the wounds of war", said Zimmerman.

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"This is also the 50th anniversary of my service in Vietnam", Reynolds said.

Veterans mark Vietnam War anniversary