CONCORD, NC – Despite a drizzly Saturday morning in Concord, over 62,500 came out to Charlotte Motor Speedway for the 2012 Vietnam Veterans Homecoming, sponsored by the USO, North Carolina Association of Broadcasters and Charlotte Motor Speedway. The daylong tribute to the vets – more than 216,000 of them North Carolinians, including some 1,600 of the 58,000 who died – is not only a long-overdue recognition of their service, it is also a day to provide them the assistance and help they’ve long needed.
Even though we began our day at 7 AM and did not leave until 4:30 PM, the time flew by. All day we had veterans and families come by to talk to us and swap war stories. Many veterans said that it was “better late than never” when asked if it took too long for them to have a proper homecoming from the Vietnam War.
On Thursday, President Barack Obama declared March 29, 2012, as Vietnam Veterans Day. Charlotte’s celebration is one of several happening across the country in conjunction with this year’s anniversary of the U.S. troop withdrawal from Vietnam.
For more photos of the celebration on the in-field (which we missed), here are some links:
WRAL’s Photo Gallery http://www.wral.com/news/local/image_gallery/10930527/
Charlotte Observer http://www.charlotteobserver.com/2012/03/31/3141175/vietnam-veterans-homecoming-celebration.html