Washington, DC -- One group of American veterans is being singled out for special praise on this Memorial Day.
President Barack Obama, speaking at the Vietnam War Memorial in Washington, said Americans who served during the Vietnam era were under-appreciated and often maligned. He says the way they were treated when they returned home was a "national shame, a disgrace" -- and he says that should never happen again.
Obama said veterans of the Vietnam war served with "just as much patriotism and honor as any before you."
He said that although many Americans turned their back on Vietnam veterans, those vets "never turned your back on America."
He marked Memorial Day at both the Vietnam War Memorial and earlier at Arlington National Cemetery. There, Obama noted that for the first time in nine years, Americans "are not fighting and dying in Iraq," and the nation is winding down its role in the conflict in Afghanistan.
He said the nation must remain committed to providing for the families of fallen soldiers, and must help returning service members who are looking for a job, higher education or health care benefits.