President and Mrs. Nixon attended the first annual Vietnam Veterans' Day ceremony at Fort McNair,?
SV Nixon's car, Nixons out and greeted
LV Naval guard of honour
LV Nixon on dais
LV National War College
SCU President Nixon speaks
GV Vietnamese Ambassador speaks
PRESIDENT NIXON: "So today we look forward to the future, thinking of how we can repay the debt to these men who have served and also given their lives. And the way we repay that debt is to go forward in building a structure of peace in the world. We are doing that negotiating with those who have been our adversaries in the past, building a new structure of peace in areas like the Mid-East strengthening our ties with our allies all over the world. but none of this could be accomplished, none of it, unless America were respected, and America is respect, because we kept our commitments to a small nation far away when it would have been so easy not to do so."
MR. TRAN: "And we are forever grateful to you for having rescued us in our difficult hour. You have as our brothers-in-arms. We hope you will remain our friends in our task of keeping peace. With continued understanding and support we feel confident that we can walk the rest of the road alone to peace and prosperity, that we can defend ourselves against any further attempts at military conquest."
Initials BB/1857 AS/AW/BB/1910
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Background: President and Mrs. Nixon attended the first annual Vietnam Veterans' Day ceremony at Fort McNair, Virginia on Friday (29 March). The President called the Vietnam War "a good and honourable cause" for the United States, declaring the sacrifices of American troops paved the way for detente and generations of world peace. The President spoke of the United States' role in seeking world peace:
Also at the National War College ceremony, was South Vietnam's ambassador to the United States Tran Kim Phuong, who read a message from his President. In his message, President Nguyen Van Thieu expressed South Vietnam's thanks to the United States:
While President Nixon attended the ceremony honouring the War veterans, groups of ex-servicemen demonstrated elsewhere, protesting against what they claimed to be a lack of financial assistance from the government-run Veterans Administration -- the organisation responsible for their welfare.