EXERPT from Rep. Swanson’s remarks:
The Vietnam War was the second-longest war in United States history, after the war in Afghanistan.
Promises and commitments to the people and government of South Vietnam to keep communist forces from overtaking them reached back into the Truman Administration.
Eisenhower placed military advisers and CIA operatives in Vietnam, and John F. Kennedy sent American soldiers to Vietnam. Lyndon Johnson ordered the first real combat by American troops, and Richard Nixon concluded the war.
President Nixon signed a ceasefire in January 1973 that formally ended the hostilities. In 1975, communist forces from the north overran the south and unified the nation.
March 29th was chosen as Vietnam Veterans Day because the last American combat troops left the Republic of Vietnam on March 29th, 1973. The average age of the American soldier in Vietnam was nineteen. Over 2.7 million Americans served in Vietnam. 58,281 United States citizens died in the war.