Sonora, CA — In recognition and gratitude of those that served, today is officially “Welcome Home Vietnam Veterans Day” in both Tuolumne and Calaveras counties.
On this day in 1973 the US Armed Forces completed the withdrawal of combat troops from Vietnam. It was a period where the country was divided politically about the war, and many armed service members returning did not receive the proper embrace for serving the country, which has prompted the creation of “Welcome Home Vietnam Veterans Day.”
A proclamation approved by the Tuolumne County Board of Supervisors earlier this month is transcribed below:
Whereas, the Vietnam War was fought in Vietnam from 1961 to 1975, and involved North Vietnam and the Viet Cong in conflict with the United States Armed Forces and South Vietnam; and
Whereas, the United States became involved in Vietnam because policymakers in the United States believed that if South Vietnam fell to a Communist government then Communism would spread throughout the rest of Southeast Asia; and
Whereas, members of the United States Armed Forces began serving in an advisory role in the South Vietnamese in 1961; and
Whereas, as a result of the Gulf of Tonkin incidents on August 2, 1964, and August 4, 1964, Congress overwhelmingly passed the Gulf of Tonkin Resolution, on August 7, 1964, which effectitely handed over war-making powers to President Johnson until such time as “peace and security” had retured to Vietnam; and
Whereas, in 1965, United States Armed Forces ground combat units arrived in Vietnam; and
Whereas, by the end of 1965, there were 80,000 United States troops in Vietnam, and by 1969 a peak of approximately 543,000 troops was reached; and
Whereas, on January 27, 1973, the Treaty of Paris was signed, which required the release of all United States prisoners-of-war held in North Vietnam and the withdrawal of all United States Armed Forces from South Vietnam; and
Whereas, on March 30, 1973, the United States Armed Forces completed the withdrawal of combat troops from Vietnam; and
Whereas, more that 58,000 members of the United States Armed Forces lost their lives in Vietnam and more than 300,000 members of the Armed Forces were wounded; and
Whereas, in 1982, the Vietnam Veterans Memorial was dedicated in the District of Columbia to commemorate those members of the United States Armed Forces who died or were declared missing in action in Vietnam; and
Whereas, the Vietnam War was an extremely divisive issue among the people of the United States; and
Whereas, members of the United States Armed Forces who served bravely and faithfully for the United States during the Vietnam War were caught upon their return home in the crossfire of public debate about the involvement of the United States in the Vietnam War; and
Whereas, the establishment of a “Welcome Home Vietnam Veterans Day” would be an appropriate way to honor those members of the United States Armed Forces who served in Vietnam during the Vietnam War.
Now, therefore be it resolved that the Board of Supervisors of the County of Tuolumne does hereby recognize March 30, 2017 as “Welcome Home Vietnam Veterans Day,” as proclaimed by the President of the United States and the United States Congress. The Board of Supervisors further honors and recognizes the contributions of veterans of the Armed Forces who served in Vietnam.