As part of the commemoration of the 50th anniversary of the Vietnam War, The American Legion honored veterans of that war today during the organization’s 94th National Convention in Indianapolis.
After getting an overview of the commemoration, the Legion began distributing thousands of presidential proclamations to Vietnam veterans in attendance. The proclamation was signed by President Obama on May 25 and states, in part:
In recognition of a chapter in our Nation's history that must never be forgotten, let us renew our sacred commitment to those who answered our country's call in Vietnam and those who awaited their safe return... The Federal Government will partner with local governments, private organizations, and communities across America to participate in the Commemoration of the 50th Anniversary of the Vietnam War – a 13-year program to honor and give thanks to a generation of proud Americans who saw our country through one of the most challenging missions we have ever faced. While no words will ever be fully worthy of their service, nor any honor truly befitting their sacrifice, let us remember that it is never too late to pay tribute to the men and women who answered the call of duty with courage and valor. Let us renew our commitment to the fullest possible accounting for those who have not returned.
“This proclamation is another sign that the veterans of the ‘60s and ‘70s are starting to be thanked for what they did in service to their country,” said U.S. Army veteran John Moffitt, a member of Legion Post 79 in Arizona who served in Vietnam from 1967-1970 and received one of the proclamations.
Retired Lt. Gen. Claude M. Kicklighter, director of the Vietnam War 50th Anniversary Commemoration, provided the overview of the commemoration, which kicked off on Memorial Day and concludes on Nov. 11, 2025.
“This war was a long, tough war,” Kicklighter said. “Most in this audience know that. This is a chance to turn the pages of history back and right a wrong.”
American Legion National Commander Fang A. Wong asked Legionnaires to support the commemoration efforts in their communities across the country.