OLD BETHPAGE - A ceremony was held Sunday in Old Bethpage to honor more than 1,000 veterans for their bravery and service to the nation in Vietnam.

Veteran Martin Spinelli says he and so many others were never given a warm welcome when they came home from the battlefields. He says the change to gratitude took decades.  "I guess I got my first thank you in 2010," he recalls.

Spinelli was among those honored during a special Vietnam Veteran Commemoration Ceremony at the Museum of American Armor. The ceremony marked the 50th anniversary of U.S. involvement in Vietnam.

It's part of a program started in 2007 by President George W. Bush. Thousands of similar commemorations ceremonies are held each year across the country to thank the men and women who served.

News 12 is told that Sunday's ceremony was one of the largest ever held in the program's history.