"Your service will not be forgotten." That was the message Thursday during a ceremony for National Vietnam War Veterans Day in the National Cemetery on Arsenal Island.
Keynote speaker, Major General Duane Gamble, commanding general of the Army Sustainment Command, says this was only the second year the US has observed Vietnam War Veterans Day, and it was long overdue.
"Abraham Lincoln said that we ought to care for those who've borne the battle. And so I hope that you feel that care and feel that appreciation from our country. If you don't, then I'd ask you to remind us all so we can continue to make up for lost time."
And he apologized for the sometimes hostile reception many received when they returned home from that war.
Gamble says many veterans do not talk about their service, but he hopes that they will.
"To educate the current generation of young men and women who continue to serve, about service in war time and service to our country, and what that means and how important it is to our nation."
After the ceremony, Vietnam veterans received a special pin, featuring an eagle, laurel wreath, and stars and stripes, and the message "a grateful nation thanks and honors you."