Vietnam Veterans Day commemorates the sacrifices of Vietnam veterans and their families and is part of a national effort to recognize the men and women who were denied a proper welcome upon returning home more than 40 years ago.
The Vietnam War Veterans Recognition Act, which was signed into law in 2017, designates March 29 of each year as National Vietnam War Veterans Day. It is not an official holiday. Most states celebrate “Welcome Home Vietnam Veterans Day” on March 29 or 30 of each year. Though there is some debate, March 29 is generally viewed as a more appropriate date. On that day in 1973, the last combat troops were withdrawn from Vietnam and the last prisoners of war held in North Vietnam arrived on American soil.
Lasting from 1955 to 1975, the Vietnam war engulfed the Southeast Asian country of Vietnam, as well as its neighboring countries, Cambodia and Laos. It resulted in several million deaths, most of whom were Vietnamese civilians. The conflict began during the 1950s when the struggle between the country’s communist northern part and the anti-communist south escalated. The United States began its military involvement to back the South’s effort to quell the communist onslaught, which, at the height of the Cold War, was feared to promote the spread of communist ideology and influence worldwide. During the war, about 500,000 US troops were dispatched to Southeast Asia, about 58,000 of whom were killed. The conflict ended in 1975 with the fall of Saigon and the victory of North Vietnam.
More than 350 members of American Legion Post 178 are Vietnam veterans.
This year we celebrate 72 years of women in the armed services. On June 12, 1948, President Harry Truman signed into law the Women’s Armed Services Integration Act allowing women to serve as regular members of the military.
On May 5, 2017, Representative Victoria Neave filed House Bill 2698, establishing Women Veterans Day. HB2698 was later incorporated into Texas Senate Bill 805 and on June 9, 2017 was signed into law by Governor Greg Abbott designating June 12th as Women Veterans Day.
During World War II (1939-1945), the Battle of Normandy, which lasted from June 1944 to August 1944, resulted in the Allied liberation of Western Europe from Nazi Germany’s control. Codenamed Operation Overlord, the battle began on June 6, 1944, also known as D-Day, when some 156,000 American, British and Canadian forces landed on five beaches along a 50-mile stretch of the heavily fortified coast of France’s Normandy region. The invasion was one of the largest amphibious military assaults in history and required extensive planning. Prior to D-Day, the Allies conducted a large-scale deception campaign designed to mislead the Germans about the intended invasion target. By late August 1944, all of northern France had been liberated, and by the following spring the Allies had defeated the Germans. The Normandy landings have been called the beginning of the end of war in Europe.
Fred Rogers made a promise to Mary Bush, the mother of Army Cpl. Peter J. Courcy, who was killed in a suicide bombing attack in 2009.
That promise has fueled the launch, growth and success of American Legion Peter J. Courcy Post 178 in Frisco, Texas. Since receiving its charter in January 2014, post membership has increased from 15 to more than 500 while fulfilling its community service goals.
“She was delighted because she wants Peter’s legacy to live on,” Rogers, the post commander, said of Bush. “And that’s the promise that we made to her. And that’s a very serious commitment for us to make sure that his memory lives on.”
Courcy will be remembered as a selfless soldier, an athlete — hockey and wrestling — and a practical joker. He was killed on Feb. 10, 2009, as a result of injuries following a suicide car bombing in Salerno, Afghanistan.
Veterans Day is intended to thank all those who honorably served in the military – in war time or peace time.
Veterans Day is observed every year on November 11th. Veterans Day was originally called “Armistice Day” when President Woodrow Wilson proclaimed this day in November 1919. Armistice is when warring parties agree to stop fighting and “Armistice Day” recognizes the end of World War 1 when hostilities ceased on November 11th at 11 A.M, 1918 (11th hour, of the 11th, of the 11th month).
On May 13th, 1938 Armistice Day was declared a legal holiday each year. A day to be dedicated to the cause of world peace. Originally Armistice Day only honored veterans of World War.
On November 11th, 1947 Raymond Weeks, a World War II veteran, organized a “National Veterans Day” parade in Birmingham, Alabama to recognize veterans of all wars.
This celebration led to Congress changing Armistice Day to Veterans Day in 1954 to recognize Veterans of all U.S. wars.
The 2019 issue of the Harris Farmer’s Almanac salutes The American Legion with a one-page article recognizing the organization’s 100th anniversary. Now on sale nationally, the annual collection of weather forecasts, notable events, predictions, gardening hints and more also profiles in the same issue Moina Michael, the so-called “Poppy Lady” who fueled U.S. attention on the flower and its meaning as a symbol for the fallen of World War I.
In the article “A Salute to The American Legion,” writer Veda Boyd Jones notes several of the organization’s accomplishments over the last century, including American Legion Baseball, Boys State, establishment of the Veterans Bureau, predecessor to the VA, and the 1944 GI Bill, as well as the Legion’s support for the most recent update of it, the Harry W. Colmery Veterans Educational Assistance Act of 2017.