JUNEAU — The Alaska Legislature this week passed legislation to honor veterans of the Vietnam War annually starting March 29, 40 years after the war’s end.

House Bill 67 would create “Vietnam Veterans Day” and unanimously passed the Senate on Wednesday. The bill now heads to the governor’s desk.

The legislation was sponsored by Joint Veterans Caucus Co-Chairman Rep. Steve Thompson, R-Fairbanks, to honor the men and women who served on the anniversary of the U.S. withdrawal from South Vietnam.

“Marking our calendars is a simple but meaningful gesture to say thank you to the men and women who served during Vietnam,” Thompson said in a prepared statement. “Vietnam veterans were practically decried and persecuted for their service, instead of welcomed home as the heroes they were and still are today. ... Anything we can do to help with that, healing is important.”

Thompson noted that Alaska has more Vietnam veterans than most other states.

Vietnam Veterans Day was established nationally through a proclamation by President Obama last year.

Contact staff writer Matt Buxton at 459-7544. Follow him on Twitter: