CHICAGO (AP) — Veterans of the Vietnam War were honored and thanked during a ceremony at Jesse Brown Veteran’s Health Care System in Chicago.

The Illinois Department of Veterans’ Affairs conducted the ceremony Friday. Veterans of the war in Southeast Asia were presented with 50-year commemoration pins.

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State Veterans’ Affairs director Linda Chapa LaVia thanked all military veterans “for their service and sacrifice on behalf of the United States” and their families.

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The national commemoration was authorized by Congress in 2007 to mark the war’s 50th anniversary.

The honor goes to all members of the U.S. armed forces who served on active duty at any point from Nov. 1, 1955 to May 15, 1975. About 7 million veterans served during that time.

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