JUNEAU — With the approach of 40-year mark of when U.S. troops left South Vietnam, ending the country’s direct involvement in the Vietnam War, the House unanimously approved a bill that would designate March 29 as Vietnam Veterans Day in Alaska.
The bill, House Bill 67, is sponsored by Rep. Steve Thompson, R-Fairbanks, and enjoyed wide support in the House.
Speaking on the floor before its passage, Thompson said it’s time for the state to honor the veterans who returned to the country to a unfriendly public.
“Many of my high school classmates and many of the people in this room did serve in Vietnam and their return was not well taken by the people of the United States and I think it’s high time we have a special day to honor those men and women,” he said.
Many other members of the House spoke in support of the bill, relaying personal stories and emphasizing the need for such a day to be created.
Last year, President Barack Obama proclaimed March 29 as Vietnam Veterans Day.
House Bill 67, which now heads to the Senate, calls for “suitable observances and exercises by civic groups and the public.”
Contact staff writer Matt Buxton at 459-7544 and follow him on Twitter: @FDNMpolitics.