NH hosting a second ceremony for Vietnam vets, in Whitefield
A year ago, New Hampshire welcomed home its Vietnam veterans.
Held to coincide with the national commemoration of the 50th anniversary of the war, the March 30 ceremony inside a Concord national guard hangar drew more than 2,000 people. Some traveled from other New England states to hear Gov. Maggie Hassan, the state's congressional delegation and numerous generals officially recognize a generation of service members treated badly by the nation that sent them to fight.
With 46,000 Vietnam-era veterans in New Hampshire, there were many who could not attend the first one. The state's intent is to make the event an annual gathering, each time in a different location and each time to say, "Thank you for your service. Welcome Home."
Is their service and sacrifice any less meaningful because they were sent to Germany, Italy or Alaska? Certainly not.
Since 2005, nearly 200,000 U.S. troops have passed through a gauntlet of praise and admiration at the International Tradeport whether they are flying home or overseas. They do not distinguish by operation, country served in or branch of service.
Join us on April 5.
Let these ceremonies — one is being planned for June for New Hampshire's Korean War veterans — serve as rally points to reinvigorate our collective conscience. To remind us of those who sacrificed more than was ever asked of them. And to appreciate them and, hopefully, be inspired by them.