Welcome Home Vietnam Veterans Day - FAQ

When is Vietnam Veterans Day?

Welcome Home Vietnam Veterans Day is observed each year on March 29 or March 30, depending on which state you’re celebrating. The first Vietnam Veterans Day, declared by declared by President Richard Nixon in 1974, coincided with the one-year anniversary of the withdrawal of U.S. combat forces from Vietnam on March 29, 1973. Today, we recognize Welcome Home Vietnam Veterans Day on March 30 as designated by a U.S. Senate resolution and a 2012 proclamation by President Barack Obama.

What is Vietnam Veterans Day?

Welcome Home Vietnam Veterans Day is an opportunity to recognize and give thanks for all who served during the Vietnam War, including those who were wounded, gave their lives, or went missing. Even in the face of controversy and opposition at home, millions of Americans honorably answered the call to serve our country during this tumultuous time in history. And when those who were fortunate enough to come home finally returned, they were met by ugly protests, scorn and neglect. Welcome Home Vietnam Veterans Day is the heroes welcome they never received. It underscores the need to heal their painful wounds and allows us the occasion each year to pause and give respect, admiration and thanks to the patriotic men and women who sacrificed so much in service to their nation.

Is Welcome Home Vietnam Veterans Day a National Holiday?

Although originally proclaimed by President Nixon in 1974 and reaffirmed since then, Vietnam Veterans Day is not yet an official national holiday. Many state and local governments have enacted legislation or resolutions of their own Welcome Home Vietnam Veterans Day as a holiday, often falling on March 29 to mirror the original commemoration.

New programs, ceremonies and activities mark the occasion of Welcome Home Vietnam Veterans Day every year.The U.S. Senate unanimously passed a resolution declaring March 30 as Welcome Home Vietnam Veterans Day in 2011 to provide a more fitting welcome. And in 2012, President Barack Obama issued a new presidential proclamation to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the Vietnam War. In his decree, President Obama spoke of the tragedies of the war, the heroism and the patriotism exhibited by our combat veterans. He emphasized the importance of extending to Vietnam veterans the same honor and gratitude we solemnly bestow upon all U.S. military veterans.

Where Do People Celebrate Vietnam Veterans Day?

Welcome Home Vietnam Veterans Day is celebrated all across the country. Recognition dinners, ceremonies, reunions and other events are organized at community, state and national levels to give thanks to those who have served.

The most popular place to honor Vietnam veterans is at the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington, D.C. This three-part monument – consisting of the Three Soldiers Statue, the Vietnam Women's Memorial and the iconic wall listing the names and dates of our Vietnam War casualties – creates a poignant memorial to the men and women who served and sacrificed during the war. In 2016, Defense Secretary Ash Carter and Veterans Affairs Secretary Bob McDonald honored Welcome Home Vietnam Veterans Day at the memorial by participating in a wreath-laying ceremony.

If you can't make it to Washington or a nearby regional event, refer to the schedule for The Wall That Heals, a travelling education center and mobile half-scale replica of the famous memorial wall. Typically, you can find photo exhibits and memorials at VA centers and cemeteries, too.

How Can I Help Honor Welcome Home Vietnam Veterans Day?

The first step is the simplest: Find a veteran in your local area, and thank him or her for their service. You can join us March 30th at 11 AM EST via Facebook live as Paralyzed Veterans of America Executive Director Sherman Gillums, Jr. shares his thanks at the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Wall in Washington, DC.  You can also attend an event or ceremony near you to give thanks. Find upcoming and past events near you.

If you'd like to help by donating money or essential items, a donation to Paralyzed Veterans of America will help us fight for veterans rights and support life-changing programs to help improve their lives. If you prefer to volunteer your time, you can contact your local Paralyzed Veterans chapter or VA center to find opportunities to get involved in your community.