PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Thursday was National Vietnam War Veterans Day. Across the country, those who served during the Vietnam War were recognized for their service, decades after coming home to a divisive nation.
After the anthem and brief remarks from leaders inside the Fraternal Order of Police Lodge in Northeast Philadelphia, about a hundred Vietnam Veterans were awarded a pin, as a gesture of appreciation for their service.
Bill Clark returned to his Mayfair home in March of 1969 and says coming back was tough.
“No one said anything in the whole neighborhood. My mother receives a knock at the door and she says ‘Bill, someone wants to talk to you.’ No one cares I’m home, sorry. Here it was the manager at Cottman and the Boulevard restaurant was welcoming me home and inviting me to dinner,” he recalled.
William Burns says the feeling has now shifted.
“Fortunately over the years, we’ve gotten our to-dos. I don’t know how many times, if I am wearing anything, people thank me for my service,” he said.
Senator Pat Toomey, who helped create the national day of recognition, presented each of the pins.