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Maverick and Lulu in the Morning

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Manatee County Honoring 50-Year Anniversary of the End of the Vietnam War

Manatee County Honoring the 50-Year Anniversary Signifying the End of the Vietnam War

As the very proud son of a Vietnam Veteran, now resting at our Sarasota National Cemetery... I want to say Thank You... and Welcome Home, to EVERY SINGLE VIETNAM VETERAN. You are a Hero and your service and sacrifice, will NEVER be forgotten.

  • The United States lost 58,220 military personnel in the Vietnam War, . Being killed in action was the leading cause of American casualties, along with dying from Injuries or being listed as POW-MIA,

MANATEE COUNTY, FL (March 10, 2023) – Manatee County is hosting a commemoration of the 50-year Anniversary of the Peace Treaty that ended the Vietnam war, releasing the remaining Prisoners of War (POWs). The event will be held Wednesday, March 29, 2023, 9 to 11 a.m. at Veterans’ Monument Park (adjacent to Manatee Memorial Hospital & the Bradenton Riverwalk).

The guest speaker will be Commander Bradley E. Smith, U.S. Navy (Retired). After enlisting in the Navy in 1961, Smith began flying combat missions in 1965. During his 77th combat mission on March 25, 1966, Smith was forced to eject over North Vietnam and was captured. He remained a POW for the next 2,516 days, until his release during Operation Homecoming on February 12, 1973.

The invocation will be given by Dr. Willie J. Holley, Pastor of the Pathways Christian Fellowship Church in Bradenton. Holley, also a Vietnam Veteran, served three combat tours in the Southeast Asia theater of operations.

Coast Guard Veteran and Manatee County Veterans Services Division Manager Renee Medina will lead the Pledge of Allegiance and emcee the event.

For more information about Manatee County Government, visit or call (941) 748-4501.

Follow them on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram @ManateeGov.

To contact the Manatee County Veterans Services Office, call 941-745-3795.

The Vietnam War Veterans Recognition Act of 2017 was signed into law by 45th U.S. President Donald J. Trump, designating every March 29 as National Vietnam War Veterans Day.

This special day joins six other military-centric annual observances codified in Title 4 of the United States Code §6, among them Memorial Day, Independence Day and Veterans Day.

29 March is a fitting choice for a day honoring Vietnam veterans. It was chosen to be observed in perpetuity as March 29, 1973 was the day United States Military Assistance Command, Vietnam was disestablished and also the day the last U.S. combat troops departed Vietnam. In addition, on and around this same day Hanoi released the last of its acknowledged prisoners of war. 

The United States of America Vietnam War Commemoration honors all veterans who served on active duty in the U.S. Armed Forces at any time from November 1, 1955 to May 15, 1975, regardless of location, and their families.

Manatee County Honoring the 50-Year Anniversary Signifying the End of the Vietnam War

Photo: Getty Images

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