Vietnam veterans celebrate first national day of recognition

John A Pavoncello
York Dispatch

York County veteran Harold Redding has been fighting for Congress to acknowledge Vietnam veterans with a national day of remembrance for years.

"They are the ones that sent us (to Vietnam)," Redding said of politicians during an interview in October 2015. "Asking for a day isn't asking too much."

Tuesday night, the North Codorus Township man's dream became reality, as President Donald Trump signed a bill into law designating March 29 as National Vietnam War Veterans Day.

During a candlelight service sponsored by the Vietnam Veterans of America Chapter 1032 at the York Vietnam Memorial at the York Expo Center Wednesday evening, veterans were greeted with "welcome home" and presented Vietnam War Veterans pins.

Pete Erdman of Dover Township, who served in Vietnam as a Marine in 1967-1968, accepts a Vietnam War Veteran's pin from Harold Redding, 1st Sgt. US Army (RET) of North Codorus Township during the 1st Annual National Vietnam War Veterans Day, Wednesday, March 29, 2017. The John A. Pavoncello photo

Redding, a 23-year veteran of the Army, shook hands and returned hugs.

"I think the most important thing to me, in addition to what it does for Vietnam veterans, is that, finally, the governing body that sent us to Vietnam has acknowledged us in public law," he said. "They have now said, 'Vietnam veterans have a day of public recognition.'"