Today and this weekend, communities across the country commemorate Vietnam Veterans Day.
This year we also mark forty years since the end of U.S. combat operations in Vietnam. On March 29, 1973, the last of our combat forces departed the country and the final release of American prisoners of war drew to a close.
When Vietnam veterans reached their hometowns, many were not greeted with the appreciation and respect they very much deserved. In our time we must take every opportunity to thank all veterans and their families for their service and sacrifice.
More than 1,600 service members remain unaccounted for from the Vietnam War. Their families still seek answers. Today, the Department of Defense reaffirms its commitment to take all steps to account for our missing personnel and bring closure to their families. And we salute and thank our Vietnam veterans and their families.