TILTON — New Hampshire veterans from the Vietnam era will be honored and thanked for their service during a Vietnam War Veterans Day ceremony on Friday, March 29, at the New Hampshire Veterans Home, Commandant Margaret LaBrecque said Monday.
A coffee social time begins at 10:15 a.m., and the ceremony begins at 11 a.m.
The free event, which is open to the public and is co-sponsored by New Hampshire Chapter 41 of the Vietnam Veterans of America, marks the federal holiday established by the Vietnam War Veterans Recognition Act, signed into law in 2017.
The date commemorates March 29, 1973, when the last U.S. combat troops left Vietnam and the last American prisoners of war held in North Vietnam came home.
The keynote speaker for the event will be retired Army Lt. Col. Greg d’Arbonne, president of the New Hampshire chapter of the Association of the United States Army.
Gov. Chris Sununu is expected to speak and officially proclaim Vietnam War Veterans Day in New Hampshire.
U.S. Rep. Chris Pappas, D-N.H., and others are also expected to also speak.
About 39,000 New Hampshire veterans — nearly 40 percent of the state’s veteran population — served during the Vietnam era from 1955 to 1975.
Coming back during an unpopular war, troops were often greeted with disrespect and hostility on the homefront.
Over the past five years, the New Hampshire National Guard has sponsored events around the state to offer a belated “welcome home.”
The Veterans Home intends to continue the annual honors.
The Veterans Home is located at 139 Winter St. in Tilton.