BILL REQ. #: S-3694.1
|State of Washington||61st Legislature||2010 Regular Session|
Read first time 01/19/10. Referred to Committee on Government Operations & Elections.
TO THE HONORABLE CHRISTINE GREGOIRE, GOVERNOR OF THE STATE OF
WASHINGTON, AND TO THE LEGISLATIVE AUTHORITY AND VETERANS' ADVISORY
BOARD OF EACH COUNTY, AND TO EACH MEMBER OF CONGRESS FROM THE STATE OF
We, your Memorialists, the Senate and House of Representatives of the State of Washington, in legislative session assembled, respectfully represent and petition as follows:
WHEREAS, Thousands of Washington State residents served in the Vietnam War and more than 1,100 did not return home to their families; and
WHEREAS, South Vietnamese soldiers fought bravely with American soldiers in defense of freedom and democracy in Vietnam and throughout the world; and
WHEREAS, Countless South Vietnamese soldiers died in that struggle or spent years imprisoned or persecuted in Vietnam after the war; and
WHEREAS, 60,000 Vietnamese-Americans now live in Washington State; and
WHEREAS, The majority of these are soldiers of the Republic of South Vietnam and their families who fled Vietnam after the war or immigrated under the Orderly Departure Program for South Vietnam veterans and their families; and
WHEREAS, Vietnamese refugees in Washington still grieve for their war dead and honor their veterans but lack a suitable memorial in Vietnam or Washington State; and
WHEREAS, The Washington State Vietnam Veterans Memorial was dedicated in 1987, followed by the addition and dedication of a plaque in 1997 to honor the brave men and women who never truly made it home from Vietnam, or have since died as a result of their military service during the Vietnam War; and
WHEREAS, Annual Memorial Day observances draw hundreds of visitors to the Washington State Vietnam Veterans Memorial at the Capitol to pay tribute to our fallen servicemembers; and
WHEREAS, In addition to the traditional observances which honor United States service members, the Vietnamese American Community is also drawn to the Vietnam Veterans Memorial as a place to honor their fallen family members and friends who bravely fought to defend the ideals of freedom and democracy; and
WHEREAS, In November 2009, 36 years after the end of the Vietnam War, military veterans from both the United States of America and the Republic of South Vietnam came together to honor each other and foster a spirit of cooperation and partnership aimed at honoring all servicemembers who paid the ultimate price in defense of freedom and democracy; and
WHEREAS, This meeting furthered the mutual respect for all men and women of these two countries, who together have a common goal of remembering the legacy of their sacrifice; and
WHEREAS, The Vietnam Veterans Committee of Washington has been formed to recognize the contributions of the Republic of South Vietnam soldiers who fought alongside the United States by proposing a series of three flag poles at the Vietnam Veterans Memorial on the Capitol Campus, to include a plaque at the base honoring and remembering the Republic of South Vietnam soldiers who lost their lives;
NOW, THEREFORE, Your Memorialists respectfully urge that the executive branch of the state of Washington and the legislative authorities of each county promote a statewide effort to encourage Vietnam veterans to work with the Washington State Department of Veterans Affairs and the Vietnam Veterans Committee of Washington to plan appropriate opportunities for joint ceremonies and events bringing these two groups of veterans together and fostering a spirit of mutual respect and cooperation, and to propose other means of jointly honoring and supporting the Republic of South Vietnam and American veterans of the Vietnam War.
BE IT RESOLVED, That copies of this Memorial be immediately transmitted to the Honorable Christine Gregoire, Governor of the State of Washington, the legislative authority and veterans' advisory board of each county, and each member of Congress from the State of Washington.