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    50 Years Later, Vietnam Veterans Finally Get Official Tribute to Their Service and Sacrifice

    50 Years Later, Vietnam Veterans Finally Get Official Tribute to Their Service and Sacrifice

    For three days last week, the government sought to make up for decades of neglect with a series of events on the National Mall meant as a symbolic “homecoming” for veterans.

    The United States of America Vietnam War Commemoration, set up by President Barack Obama in 2012 and authorized by Congress, billed the belated recognition as a “Welcome Home Celebration,” although the term “celebration” can seem utterly out of place in reference to a long and divisive conflict that took the lives of more than 58,000 Americans and triggered widespread anti-war protests.

    Navy Cmdr. Brian Wierzbicki, a Pentagon spokesman for the commemoration, said the intent of describing the events as a celebration was to mark the contributions of those who served in Vietnam on the 50th anniversary of the withdrawal of the last U.S. combat troops in March 1973.

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    “We are using ‘celebration' in the context of giving Vietnam Veterans the ‘welcome home' celebration they deserved, yet never received” from official , Wierzbicki said.

    “It's not a celebration of war, it's a celebration of veterans' service,” said Steve Maxner, director of the Vietnam Center and Sam Johnson Vietnam Archive at Texas Tech University.

    “It's about celebrating service; that's what the whole commemoration is about,” Maxner said, but some of the veterans at the events said that the organizers…

    Continue Reading This Article At Military.com

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