March 29 declared Vietnam Veterans' Day in Yates County

John Christensen
The Chronicle Express
A ceremonial raising of the Commemorative Vietnam War Veterans' flag is scheduled for 10 a.m. Tuesday, March 29 in front of the Yates County Complex on Liberty Street.

PENN YAN — By a unanimous vote of the Yates County Legislature March 29, the veterans of the Vietnam War will be honored by the observation of a public ceremony dedicated to their sacrifices in answering their nation's call to duty.

A ceremonial raising of the Commemorative Vietnam War Veterans' flag is scheduled for 10 a.m. Tuesday, March 29 in front of the Yates County Complex on Liberty Street.  Yates County Building & Grounds Maintenance Supervisor Joe Reed is helping to facilitate the event, and Andy Swarthout, Penn Yan’s American Legion Post-355 Honor Guard Captain, is coordinating his team of Vietnam veterans to help raise the flag.

At the Yates County Legislature meeting Thursday, March 17, Yates County Veterans' Service Agency Director Phil Rouin read aloud the resolution proclaiming the day:

RESOLUTION NO. 113-22

PROCLAIMING MARCH 29TH AS VIETNAM VETERANS DAY IN YATES COUNTY

WHEREAS, Throughout the history of our state and nation, countless brave individuals have answered the call to patriotic duty, including Vietnam veterans who endured unspeakable hardships and risked their lives fighting for the ideals of democracy; it was on March 29, 1973, the last 2,500 American combat troops were withdrawn from the battlefields of Vietnam, and we solemnly commemorate the anniversary of this day and reflect on its significance for past, present, and future generations; and

WHEREAS, American involvement in the Vietnam War - one of the longest military conflicts in America’s history - began with the arrival of the United States military personnel in South Vietnam in the 1950s and ended with the fall of Saigon on April 30, 1975, when the last Americans were evacuated from the United States Embassy; and

WHEREAS, during this long and difficult war, American involvement escalated to staggering statistics: over 3.4 million were deployed to Southeast Asia; 2.7 million served in the designated war zone; over 58,000 were killed in theater of operation; 153,000 were non-mortally wounded; today nearly 4 decades later approximately 2,000 are still unaccounted for; and

WHEREAS, of the names listed on the Vietnam Memorial Wall in our nation’s capital, 4,120 are those of courageous young New Yorkers who went off to fight half way around the world, never to return; we recognize and thank all of our county’s Vietnam veterans for their service- those who made the ultimate sacrifice, those who came home physically or emotionally scarred, and those who returned home safely to their loved ones; and

WHEREAS, we have not forgotten - nor will we ever forget - the men and women who served so honorably in the Vietnam War, like so many others who answered the call to serve in previous and subsequent wars; the selfless service and sacrifice of Vietnam veterans as an inspiring reminder of the patriotism, spirit, and courage of all who serve in our nation’s Armed Forces; and

WHEREAS, in accordance with the Vietnam War Veterans Recognition Act of 2017 that amended title 4 United States Code, section 6(d) directing the flag be raised in honor of Vietnam Veterans Day; and

NOW THERFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, that the Yates County Legislature proclaims in commemoration of those who served, that the Yates County Legislature extends its gratitude to all who served during the Vietnam War, by proclaiming March 29, 2022 as “Vietnam Veterans Day” in Yates County.