NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Gov. Bill Haslam paid tribute to Vietnam Veterans Monday afternoon, part of remembrance events leading up to the 40th anniversary of the withdrawal of American troops from Southeast Asia.<?xml:namespace prefix = o />
Haslam was joined by Department of Veterans Affairs Commissioner Many-Bears Grinder and Vietnam Veterans of America Tennessee State Council President Barry Rice.
Haslam recalled an emotional moment as he walked with a group of Vietnam vets during a Veterans Day Parade while mayor of Knoxville.
“Several of them, with tears streaming down their face, said, ‘You know, it wasn’t like this for us when we came home.’ I think the fact that our country didn’t’ do as good a job as we should of thanking you for what you did at that point in time is all the more reason we should be here today.”
Tennessee was the first state to observe Vietnam Veterans Day, beginning in 2008.