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An Editorial -- Joseph W. McQuaid, Publisher: Welcome them home

New Hampshire Union Leader Publisher

March 28. 2013 10:12PM

Go to a parade in New Hampshire these days and you may have seen a group of Vietnam veterans marching by. And if you did, you probably saw and heard parade-watchers applaud them, vigorously.

If you haven't had that chance, or if you would like to help say "thank you" to Vietnam veterans in a bigger way, then you should be in Concord Saturday at 2 p.m.

That is when a long-overdue official thank you from the people of New Hampshire is to be made to those who served honorably in that conflict and came home, sometimes to dishonorable treatment. It is also a way to say a quiet "thanks" to those from New Hampshire, all 228 of them, who did not make it home.

Maj. Gen. William Reddel III, Adjutant General of the New Hampshire National Guard, said it well this week.

"They never received a homecoming. There were no ceremonies or parades. There were no banners hanging from highway overpasses. No police escorts. They were shunned from the moment they touched down on American soil. Instead of being embraced at terminals across the country, many of our warriors slipped into a bathroom to change out of their uniform. As a nation, we treated them as outcasts."

The event to address that wrong is being held at the National Guard's Aviation Flight Facility on Regional Drive, just off Airport Road in Concord. It is free and the public is welcome. It probably won't last long, but taking place 40 years after it should have, it can't last long enough.

New Hampshire Front page editorial

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