PRINCETON, WV (WVNS) — This Wednesday, March 29 2023, will mark the 50th anniversary of the day the last American troops left South Vietnam, signaling the end of the Vietnam War.

Back in 2012, West Virginia House Bill 4493 was signed into law, declaring March 30th as Vietnam Veteran Recognition Day.

On Sunday, March 26, the Vietnam Veterans of America Chapter 628 in Princeton held its 7th annual ceremony honoring Recognition Day. Veterans from various conflicts attended while the Montcalm High School JROTC served as the ceremony’s honor guard.

Chris Lambert Jr., a three time Purple Heart recipient, was the ceremony’s guest speaker. He said he wants his fellow veterans to appreciate what they’ve accomplished since they served.

“My main message today is definitely for the Vietnam Veteran to look at what he has produced since the war,” said Lambert. “Every single veteran that has come home over the years.”

497 service members from West Virginia were killed in Vietnam.