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WHEREAS, more than 230,000 Virginians served the nation in Vietnam, nearly 1,500 sacrificed their lives, and 46 Virginians are still listed as missing in action; and
WHEREAS, of the 239 service members who were awarded the Medal of Honor, the nation's highest military award, eight were Virginians, including seven who died in action; and
WHEREAS, Virginians served in Vietnam from the beginning to the end, with a Virginian being one of the first casualties of the war in 1961, and one of the last in 1975; and
WHEREAS, the Vietnam War was extremely divisive among people in this country, and the debate about the country's involvement in the war deprived many members of the Armed Forces of public support and appreciation of their patriotic service; and
WHEREAS, the soldiers, sailors, airmen, and marines who returned from Vietnam were never accorded the recognition and praise that was routinely given returning servicemen and women in earlier wars; and
WHEREAS, it is especially important that the extraordinary contributions of America's Vietnam War veterans and the sacrifice of their families be remembered and recognized; and
WHEREAS, the Vietnam War Veterans Recognition Act of 2017 officially designated March 29 as the annual Vietnam War Veterans Day;
NOW, THEREFORE, I, Ralph S. Northam, do hereby recognize March 29, 2018, as VIETNAM WAR VETERANS DAY in the COMMONWEALTH OF VIRGINIA, and I call this observance to the attention of all our citizens.