This Is Why We Stand: National Vietnam War Veterans Day
March 29th has been permanently designated as National Vietnam War Veterans Day. Today, I visited a memorial to the men of Iona who made the supreme sacrifice for peace in Vietnam. The Vietnam war is not looked at as a noble crusade. Its participants were not always given the respect that they earned. To find fault in the cause is inevitable, but to find fault in its crusaders is impossible. The American soldier did everything that was asked of him during this conflict that changed our world forever. 258 Medals of Honor were awarded across the Army, Marines, Navy, and Air Force during the war. 63 percent of those distinctions were presented posthumously. In 1965, President Lyndon Johnson posed a question to the country, “Why must this nation hazard its ease, and its interest, and its power for the sake of a people so far away?” His question came with an answer, “We fight because we must fight if we are to live in a world where every country can shape its own destiny. And only in such a world will our own freedom be finally secure.” The war was dirty, brutal, and difficult. It took a special type of individual to bear the burdens of that conflict, and it’s only fitting that our Veterans from that war, past and present are acknowledged with their own day. They were brave, they were noble, and they fought the good fight.