The Utah Legislature honored Vietnam Veterans through tears, a resolution and a standing ovation Friday.
Vets representing all branches of the military lined up in the front of the House and Senate as they listened to lawmaker after lawmaker praise them for their service and recall a few of their own stories from that era.
“I was born when the Vietnam War began,” Rep. Keven Stratton, R-Orem, said. “As a young child, in every prayer, I remember praying for your safety and well-being each morning and night. It is our prayer today that you feel how grateful we are to stand on your shoulders of sacrifice.”
Rep. Curt Oda, R-Clearfield, proposed HCR6 as a resolution recognizing the 50th anniversary of the Vietnam War. He said it was a way to “finally welcome them home.”
Rep. Richard Greenwood, R-Roy, told the soldiers about how he was drafted into the Army during the war and remembered an incident in San Francisco when he was walking down the street with a friend while dressed in his uniform.
“We were [some] of those soldiers that somebody came up to and spit on,” Greenwood said. “When you’re called a baby-killer, that hurts. Especially when you’re only 20 years old.”
The resolution passed unanimously in both chambers.
Sen. Karen Mayne, D-West Valley City, said six people in her high school class died in Vietnam. “Brothers, we do know that was a hurtful time and we hope never to go back there again ... ,” she told the veterans. “It was a time that was not respectful.
Lee Davidson contributed to this report.