Dennis Smith of La Junta attended the Vietnam War 50th Commemoration ceremony Friday.

About the Vietnam War 50th Commemoration:

The 2008 National Defense Authorization Act authorized a program to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the Vietnam War. The official commemoration began with the inaugural event at the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington D.C. on Memorial Day, May 28, 2012, and concludes on Veterans Day, Nov. 11, 2025.

For the purposes of this commemoration, Nov. 1, 1955 to May 15, 1975 is the time period recognized to honor the service and sacrifice of those who served on active duty in the U.S. Armed Forces.

The Department of Veterans Affairs estimates that today there are 7 million living Vietnam veterans and 9 million families of those who served in this time frame. As of 2014, there are more than 127,000 Vietnam-era veterans living in Colorado, according to the VA.