Minnesota will officially recognize Vietnam veterans for the first time on Saturday.
Governor Tim Pawlenty signed a bill into law today establishing every March 29th as Vietnam Veterans Day. The date was chosen, because the last U.S. ground troops left the Asian country on March 29, 1973.
Surrounded by veterans and legislators during a Capitol ceremony, Pawlenty said the day is an important step in thanking Vietnam era veterans and showing them the respect they deserve.
"The fact that our country did not properly welcome them home at the time is shameful," Pawlenty told those gathered.
"And our country has made good steps to try to make up for that, but more needs to be done. These are men and women who have served our country with great valor. And they way they were treated at the conclusion of the Vietnam war was shameful and it should never be repeated again."
Pawlenty said some small, local events are planned throughout Minnesota on Saturday. He said the state will be involved in organizing bigger Vietnam Veterans Day events in future years.