WHEELING, W.Va. (WTRF) — It was a conflict that lasted over a decade, divided the country, and bonded a generation of young men.

Vietnam Veterans Day gathered service members to pray, remember and honor the memory of those who offered their lives for America.

POW and MIA were particularly recognized, with their sacrifice symbolized through a table of honor.

The Wheeling Vet Center’s Outreach Specialist says Vietnam vets offered the support to younger generations they often never received in their time.

I can tell you that Vietnam veterans were there for my generation when we came home from Iraq and Afghanistan, and they really helped lead the way with welcoming us home and opening their arms to us. And I will say that I think that has really helped them and us connect in that way.

Michael Novotney, Veterans Outreach Specialist, Wheeling Vet Center

A lapel pin of recognition was also offered to veterans from Congress—in honor of their strength and courage more than half a century ago.