Manila Vietnam Veterans Parade Saturday
A Welcome Home Parade honoring Vietnam veterans will be held in Manila starting at 2 p.m. Saturday, March 31.
The parade will begin at the Manila Train Depot Museum on main street.
The event is sponsored by the Manila Depot Museum Committee and the Herman Davis American Legion Post.
Veterans, family members and friends are encouraged to come out and welcome home Vietnam veterans and thank them, as well as all veterans, for their service.
There will be hot dogs, hamburgers, chips and soft drinks served on the grounds of the American Legion following the parade.
The 4-H, FCCLA and Leo Club will be manning games on the grounds for children to enjoy. There will be bouncy houses, horseshoes, and more. Vendors will also be set up on the grounds.
Donna Jackson, one of the organizers of the first Welcome Home parade in Manila, said unlike the veterans of World War I and II, and Korea, the veterans returning from Vietnam did not get the reception they deserved.
Welcome Home Vietnam Veterans is a holiday thatís been celebrated since 1973 on either March 29 or March 30 of each year through a patchwork of state resolutions. However, in 2017, the date of the holiday was set as March 29 by U.S President Donald Trump. This day is now officially known as National Vietnam War Veterans Day. The date coincides with the withdrawal of troops from Vietnam on March 29, 1973.
Hundreds of young men and women from Manila and the surrounding area served in Vietnam and some made the ultimate sacrifice.
"Anyone who has visited the Vietnam Memorial Wall in Washington, D.C., or the traveling memorial wall, and has seen the 58,209 names inscribed in chronological order of the date of casualty realize what a great sacrifice was made," Jackson said. "Several of the names on the Memorial Wall are from Buffalo Island."
Everyone is encouraged to come out Saturday at 2 p.m. and honor veterans, wave the American Flag and personally thank a veteran for their service.