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Turlock honors its Vietnam veterans
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The Turlock Veterans Honor Guard prepares a 21-gun salute during Tuesday's Vietnam Veterans Day event (Photo courtesy of the City of Turlock).

The community of Turlock was able to gather in person for the first time in two years to pay tribute to local veterans of the Vietnam War on Tuesday during a ceremony held at the Central Park Cannon memorial.

The Veterans Honor Guard, guest speakers, vocalists and dignitaries gathered to remember those who served their country during the Vietnam era. Those in attendance tied yellow ribbons to the cannon fence in honor, or in memory, of a Vietnam veteran.

On March 29, 1973, the last American troops were withdrawn from South Vietnam, thus ending the longest war in U.S. history. More than 58,000 individuals made the ultimate sacrifice in Vietnam and more than 300,000 more were wounded in combat.

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American Legion Commander Carl Lassiter speaks at the Vietnam Veterans Day ceremony held in Central Park on Tuesday (Photo courtesy of the City of Turlock).

Vietnam Veterans Day began in 2012 with a Presidential proclamation which sought to have the nation stand to honor the service and legacy of Vietnam veterans on the 50th anniversary of the end of the conflict.

In June 2016, the City of Turlock joined more than 10,000 organizations who have become official Vietnam Commemorative Partners. Commemorative Partners are local, state and national organizations, businesses, sports franchises and governmental agencies that have committed to hosting two hometown centered events and activities for at least three years, to thank and honor Vietnam veterans, including unreturned veterans, and their families on behalf of the nation. 2018 was the third and final year of the Commemorative Partnership commitment, however the City’s stated it will further its commitment to these veterans.

 “I am so honored as a daughter of a veteran to acknowledge and thank our veterans for their sacrifices, and in some cases, the ultimate sacrifice of their life for fighting to keep our country free. I also thank the parents and loved ones whose sons and daughters gave their life during the Vietnam War. To veterans everywhere, thank you for your service,” said Mayor Amy Bublak.