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H.C.R. 6 Enrolled






Chief Sponsor: Curtis Oda

Senate Sponsor: Scott K. Jenkins

             7      Cosponsors:
             8      Jacob L. Anderegg
             9      Jerry B. Anderson
             10      Johnny Anderson
             11      Patrice M. Arent
             12      Stewart Barlow
             13      Roger E. Barrus
             14      Jim Bird
             15      Joel K. Briscoe
             16      Derek E. Brown
             17      Melvin R. Brown
             18      Rebecca Chavez-Houck
             19      Kay J. Christofferson
             20      Tim M. Cosgrove
             21      Spencer J. Cox
             22      Rich Cunningham
             23      Brad L. Dee
             24      Jack R. Draxler
             25      Susan Duckworth
             26      James A. Dunnigan
             27      Rebecca P. Edwards
             28      Steve Eliason
             29      Janice M. Fisher
Gage FroererFrancis D. Gibson
Brian M. Greene
Richard A. Greenwood
Keith Grover
Craig Hall
Stephen G. Handy
Lynn N. Hemingway
Gregory H. Hughes
Eric K. Hutchings
Don L. Ipson
Ken Ivory
Michael S. Kennedy
Brian S. King
John Knotwell
Bradley G. Last
Dana L. Layton
David E. Lifferth
Rebecca D. Lockhart
John G. Mathis
Kay L. McIff
Mike K. McKell
Ronda Rudd Menlove
Carol Spackman MossMerrill F. Nelson
Jim Nielson
Michael E. Noel
Lee B. Perry
Jeremy A. Peterson
Val L. Peterson
Dixon M. Pitcher
Marie H. Poulson
Kraig Powell
Paul Ray
Edward H. Redd
Marc K. Roberts
Angela Romero
Douglas V. Sagers
Dean Sanpei
Jennifer M. Seelig
V. Lowry Snow
Jon E. Stanard
Keven J. Stratton
Earl D. Tanner
R. Curt Webb
John R. Westwood
             30      Mark A. Wheatley
             31      Ryan D. WilcoxLarry B. Wiley
Brad R. Wilson              32     
             33      LONG TITLE
             34      General Description:
             35          This concurrent resolution of the Legislature and the Governor recognizes the 50th
             36      Anniversary of the Vietnam War.
             37      Highlighted Provisions:
             38          This resolution:
             39          .    recognizes the 50th Anniversary of the Vietnam War and those who fought,
             40      suffered, and died in the conflict; and
             41          .    urges the citizens of Utah to reflect on the service and sacrifice of many during the
             42      Vietnam War.
             43      Special Clauses:
             44          None
             46      Be it resolved by the Legislature of the state of Utah, the Governor concurring therein:
             47          WHEREAS, in the late 1950s, the United States began sending advisors to help train
             48      the South Vietnamese Army and Air Force to withstand the onslaught from Communist North
             49      Vietnam;
             50          WHEREAS, the Military Assistance and Advisory Group (MAAG), along with 700
             51      other U.S. military advisors, worked for eight years to train the South Vietnamese for
             52      conventional warfare;
             53          WHEREAS, on October 11, 1961, President John F. Kennedy authorized a detachment
             54      from the 4400th Combat Crew Training Squadron to deploy to South Vietnam as Project Farm
             55      Gate;
             56          WHEREAS, Operation Mule Train, begun in January 1962, was designed to drop

             57      supplies to isolated outposts and transport parachutists into areas controlled by the Vietcong;
             58          WHEREAS, at the request of South Vietnam's President, the United States Air Force
             59      was directed to spray the Vietnamese countryside with an aerial herbicide that would strip the
             60      jungles of all foliage and eliminate the cover and available food for the North Vietnamese;
             61          WHEREAS, this action, named Operation Ranch Hand, began in 1962;
             62          WHEREAS, arguments in Washington erupted on whether the spraying actually did
             63      any good, or whether the Americans and the South Vietnamese governments were risking the
             64      loyalty of the South Vietnamese people whose livelihoods were also at risk;
             65          WHEREAS, President Kennedy allowed the spraying, but only under limited conditions
             66      and as long as crops were not damaged;
             67          WHEREAS, the planes that dropped the herbicide were modified to carry and spray the
             68      defoliants to only attack areas of the jungle where combatants could hide, but by 1971 the
             69      policy had changed and even crops were sprayed;
             70          WHEREAS, the operation continued for nine years and affected 36% of the mangrove
             71      forest and 20% of the jungles of South Vietnam;
             72          WHEREAS, this operation began the controversy over the effects of the defoliant
             73      Agent Orange on humans, which continues today;
             74          WHEREAS, in August 1964, two U.S. destroyers, the USS Turner Joy and the USS
             75      Maddox, were performing surveillance patrols in conjunction with the South Vietnamese Navy
             76      along the North Vietnamese coast in the Gulf of Tonkin;
             77          WHEREAS, North Vietnam claimed a 12-mile territorial zone off its coastline, but the
             78      United States only recognized a 3-mile border and allowed its ships to sail within 11 miles of
             79      the coast;
             80          WHEREAS, when ships would come into range, the North Vietnamese radar sites on
             81      shore would activate and the South Vietnamese Navy would then harass the installations with
             82      gunfire;
             83          WHEREAS, in retaliation, the North Vietnamese Navy sent out several torpedo boats
             84      on an attack, which proved unsuccessful;

             85          WHEREAS, when President Lyndon B. Johnson received notification of the incident,
             86      he ordered the first American air strikes against North Vietnamese naval bases;
             87          WHEREAS, a few days later, Congress passed the Gulf of Tonkin Resolution, which
             88      gave President Johnson the authority to increase America's involvement in Vietnam;
             89          WHEREAS, in February 1965, President Johnson ordered a series of reprisal air strikes
             90      after several attacks on U.S. bases by Vietcong units;
             91          WHEREAS, a series of paved and unpaved roads, rivers, and sometimes narrow
             92      footpaths through dense jungle, commonly referred to as the Ho Chi Minh Trail, were being
             93      utilized by the North Vietnamese and Vietcong armies to smuggle supplies and troops back and
             94      forth from North and South Vietnam;
             95          WHEREAS, this intricate transportation system stretched throughout the mountains
             96      along the Vietnamese-Laos-Cambodia borders and was a large problem for the South
             97      Vietnamese and U.S. forces;
             98          WHEREAS, cutting off the Ho Chi Minh Trail, often called the "Secret War," was
             99      controversial because it often entailed constant air strikes to areas in Laos and Cambodia,
             100      which were neutral countries, and these tactics were not known to most Americans;
             101          WHEREAS, after several attacks upon United States Air Force bases, 3,500 United
             102      States Marines were dispatched to South Vietnam on March 8, 1965;
             103          WHEREAS, this marked the beginning of the American ground war, and public
             104      opinion at the time overwhelmingly supported the deployment;
             105          WHEREAS, the initial deployment of 3,500 Marines increased to nearly 200,000
             106      American military personnel by December of 1965;
             107          WHEREAS, that same month, South Vietnamese forces suffered heavy losses in a
             108      battle that both sides viewed as a watershed, and American leaders responded by developing
             109      plans for U.S. troops to move from a defensive strategy to an offensive approach to the
             110      escalating war;
             111          WHEREAS, the bombing campaigns that began in 1964, which were intended to force
             112      North Vietnam to cease its support for the National Front for the Liberation of South Vietnam,

             113      escalated significantly by the end of 1966;
             114          WHEREAS, where ground combat was sometimes made complicated by
             115      unconventional military opposition and difficult terrain, U.S. air superiority remained constant,
             116      and throughout the Vietnam War, various policies and strategies were put in place by the U.S.
             117      military to take advantage of that strength;
             118          WHEREAS, over the course of the conflict, U.S. forces dropped over 7 million tons of
             119      bombs through Southeast Asia, compared to only about 2 million tons dropped during all of
             120      World War II;
             121          WHEREAS, geared towards suppressing the Pathet Lao's Communist guerrillas in
             122      Northern Laos, Operation Barrel Roll, a heavily covert operation, was initiated to provide air
             123      support for the Royal Laotian Army, and included the first bombings in Laos in support of the
             124      war against North Vietnam;
             125          WHEREAS, another interdiction effort, Operation Steel Tiger, was aimed at destroying
             126      the North Vietnamese flow of supplies and troops along the Ho Chi Minh Trail and involved
             127      heavy covert bombing in Southeastern Laos;
             128          WHEREAS, Operation Tiger Hound, initiated in support of both Barrel Roll and Steel
             129      Tiger, focused solely on disrupting movement along the Ho Chi Minh Trail on the lower
             130      portion of the Laotian panhandle and was initiated by the South Vietnamese Air Force and by
             131      United States Air Force units based in South Vietnam;
             132          WHEREAS, what was expected to be the usual two-day cease-fire in observance of Tet
             133      Nguyên Dan, the lunar New Year and the most important Vietnamese holiday, became an
             134      opportunity for the North Vietnamese Army and Vietcong to strike;
             135          WHEREAS, this large, well-coordinated surprise campaign on cities and U.S. targets
             136      throughout South Vietnam, named the Tet Offensive, was North Vietnam's attempt to end the
             137      war in one swift blow;
             138          WHEREAS, the morning of January 31, 1968, saw many provincial capitals and cities
             139      such as Saigon and Hue under siege from large numbers of Communist fighters who had
             140      apparently infiltrated the South in the months and weeks leading up to the planned offensive;

             141          WHEREAS, U.S. and South Vietnamese forces, initially unprepared and overwhelmed,
             142      countered many of the attacks, and eventually gained back control by early March of all areas
             143      where the Vietcong were entrenched;
             144          WHEREAS, in the aftermath, many cities and towns in South Vietnam were
             145      devastated, with thousands of casualties sustained by forces and civilians in the South;
             146          WHEREAS, the Tet Offensive was evidence of North Vietnam's ability to stage a
             147      large-scale attack;
             148          WHEREAS, this turning point in the war would lead to a change in approach by
             149      political and military leadership, and change the way many in the United States viewed the war
             150      from home;
             151          WHEREAS, the first major bombing campaign on North Vietnamese territory,
             152      Operation Rolling Thunder was intended to place heavy military pressure on the North
             153      Vietnamese leaders and reduce their ability and desire to wage war against the U.S.-supported
             154      South Vietnamese government;
             155          WHEREAS, from 1965 to 1968, about 643,000 tons of bombs were dropped on North
             156      Vietnam;
             157          WHEREAS, leading up to the Tet Offensive, widespread protests and demonstrations
             158      against U.S. involvement and the continued loss of American lives were already taking place in
             159      the United States;
             160          WHEREAS, beginning in 1964, these protests and demonstrations led to a polarization
             161      of Americans, with one side continuing to support America's role in Southeast Asia and the
             162      other preaching peace and the end to U.S. operations in the region;
             163          WHEREAS, although most demonstrations were peaceful, some were highlighted by
             164      violence and, whether instigated by protestors or police, these confrontational events often
             165      received more attention than the war itself;
             166          WHEREAS, the North Vietnamese-led Tet Offensive in early 1968 brought a new wave
             167      of criticism from the American public as images of those events shocked many across the
             168      nation;

             169          WHEREAS, with many news outlets publicizing the horrors encountered in South
             170      Vietnam during that period, as well as the depiction of the attack on the American Embassy in
             171      Saigon, many Americans questioned the ability of the United States to resolve the conflict by
             172      use of military intervention and the validity of previous reports of successful operations in the
             173      region;
             174          WHEREAS, Operation Menu was a highly secretive bombing campaign of
             175      Communist-supported supply bases in Cambodia that the North Vietnamese used in aiding
             176      attacks on South Vietnam;
             177          WHEREAS, these controversial B-52 bombing raids in neutral Cambodia, authorized
             178      by President Richard Nixon, continued until 1973 when information about those raids was
             179      leaked and the devastation to the region was exposed;
             180          WHEREAS, public protests increased, and on May 4, 1970, the Ohio National Guard
             181      fired on Kent State University students, killing four students, during a protest against President
             182      Nixon for sending American troops into Cambodia;
             183          WHEREAS, the killings resulted in a nationwide student strike;
             184          WHEREAS, the Vietnam War was the central issue of the 1972 presidential election,
             185      with President Nixon's opponent, George McGovern, campaigning on a platform of withdrawal
             186      from Vietnam;
             187          WHEREAS, starting in 1969, President Nixon's National Security Adviser, Henry
             188      Kissinger, carried on secret negotiations with North Vietnamese officials;
             189          WHEREAS, in October 1972, an agreement was reached, but South Vietnamese
             190      President Nguyen Van Thieu demanded massive changes to the peace proposal;
             191          WHEREAS, with negotiations deadlocked, President Nixon approved Operation
             192      Linebacker II, a massive bombing campaign by B-52 strategic bombers aimed at reassuring the
             193      South Vietnamese and forcing the North Vietnamese back to the negotiating table;
             194          WHEREAS, in just 11 days, over 49,000 tons of bombs were dropped on North
             195      Vietnam, devastating the country and forcing North Vietnam back to the table;
             196          WHEREAS, on January 15, 1973, President Richard Nixon announced the suspension

             197      of offensive action against North Vietnam;
             198          WHEREAS, the Paris Peace Accords, the agreement signed on January 27, 1973,
             199      between North Vietnam and the United States and South Vietnam, effectively ended the
             200      conflict and began the complete withdrawal of American troops;
             201          WHEREAS, the key provisions of the agreement included a cease-fire throughout
             202      Vietnam, withdrawal of U.S. combat forces, the release of prisoners of war, and the
             203      reunification of North and South Vietnam through peaceful means;
             204          WHEREAS, the South Vietnamese government was to remain in place until new
             205      elections were held, and North Vietnamese forces in the South were not to advance further or
             206      be reinforced;
             207          WHEREAS, little more than two months after the peace agreement, U.S. combat troops
             208      left Vietnam;
             209          WHEREAS, Operation Homecoming, a result of the Paris Peace Accords, made
             210      possible the return of nearly 600 American prisoners of war (POWs) held by North Vietnam;
             211          WHEREAS, groups of released POWs were selected on the basis of their length of time
             212      in prison, with the first group consisting of POWs that had spent six to eight years as prisoners
             213      of war;
             214          WHEREAS, after Operation Homecoming, about 1,350 Americans were still listed as
             215      prisoners of war or missing in action, and another 1,200 Americans were reported killed in
             216      action without their bodies being recovered;
             217          WHEREAS, these missing personnel would become the subject of an intense search by
             218      the United States Army, Navy, Air Force, and Marine Corps, with many remains of missing
             219      personnel located and returned in the decades since;
             220          WHEREAS, following the refusal of Congress to fund additional U.S. activity in
             221      Vietnam, all American troops and equipment were withdrawn from Vietnam;
             222          WHEREAS, Communist leaders in the North had expected that the cease-fire terms
             223      would favor their side, but even before the last American combat troops departed on March 29,
             224      1973, the Communists violated the cease-fire;

             225          WHEREAS, in Saigon, approximately 7,000 United States Department of Defense
             226      civilian employees remained behind to aid South Vietnam in conducting what was beginning to
             227      look like a fierce and ongoing war with Communist North Vietnam;
             228          WHEREAS, Saigon, bolstered by a surge of U.S. aid received just before the cease-fire
             229      went into effect, at first started to push back the Vietcong, but by early 1974, full-scale warfare
             230      had resumed;
             231          WHEREAS, the Vietcong recaptured the territory it lost during the previous dry season,
             232      and during the rest of 1974 Communist forces took possession of additional areas in the South;
             233          WHEREAS, at the end of 1974, South Vietnamese authorities reported that 80,000
             234      soldiers and civilians had been killed, making it the costliest year of the war;
             235          WHEREAS, in the spring of 1975, 20 divisions of the North Vietnamese Army invaded
             236      South Vietnam;
             237          WHEREAS, South Vietnamese forces fell back in disorder and panic, abandoning air
             238      bases, weapons, aircraft, fuel, and ammunition, and on April 29, 1975, Communist forces
             239      reached Saigon, the South Vietnamese capital, and quickly overran the city;
             240          WHEREAS, South Vietnam formally surrendered the next day;
             241          WHEREAS, April 30, 1975, also saw the last American civilians and military
             242      personnel still in South Vietnam airlifted out of Saigon by U.S. support forces;
             243          WHEREAS, statistics from the 1970 census indicate that 27,910 Utahns served in
             244      Vietnam;
             245          WHEREAS, 388 Utahns were killed, 14 are still listed as missing in action, and many
             246      more were wounded during their service;
             247          WHEREAS, a new exhibit, which honors and pays tribute to the sacrifices of POWs
             248      during the Vietnam War, opened September 12, 2012, at the Hill Air Force Base museum; and
             249          WHEREAS, it is fitting that in the 50th year since the beginning of the conflict Utahns
             250      reflect on the Vietnam War and its legacy:
             251          NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that the Legislature of the state of Utah, the
             252      Governor concurring therein, recognize the 50th Anniversary of the Vietnam War and those

             253      who fought, suffered, and died in the conflict.
             254          BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the Legislature and the Governor urge the citizens
             255      of Utah to reflect on the service and sacrifice of many during the Vietnam War.
             256          BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that a copy of this resolution be sent to the Veterans of
             257      Foreign Wars USA, the United States Department of Veterans Affairs, the Utah Department of
             258      Veterans' Affairs, the Hill Air Force Base museum, and the members of Utah's congressional
             259      delegation.

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