Closing Thought–30Apr20–#2

This day means something to me as a veteran of the Vietnam War….

Flashback: The Fall of Saigon

(photo from NBC News)

On this day in 1975 Saigon fell to the North Vietnamese…..

The day after the North Vietnamese took Saigon, the city was woken by triumphal song. During the night the engineers of the victorious army had rigged up loudspeakers, and from about 5am the same tinny liberation melodies were incessantly played. It was 30 April 1975, and sharp early sunlight illuminated Saigon’s largely empty streets, at a time when the city’s frenetic traffic would normally have already begun to buzz. But hardly anybody knew what to do – whether to go to work or not, whether there would be anything to buy in the market, whether there would be petrol, or whether new fighting might break out. It was, of course, not just Saigon’s daily routine that had been utterly disrupted. Its established role as the capital of non-communist Vietnam had vanished overnight, its soldiers had disappeared, and many of its generals, politicians and civil servants were at that moment bobbing up and down on the decks of warships in the South China Sea, with US Navy blankets pulled round their shoulders.

CBS offers up photos of the day Saigon fell to the Advancing North Vietnamese…..

This is how the North viewed this day….

Forty years ago, on April 30, 1975, Nguyen Dang Phat experienced the happiest day of his life.

That morning, as communist troops swept into the South Vietnamese capital of Saigon and forced the U.S.-backed government to surrender, the North Vietnamese Army soldier marked the end of the war along with a crowd of people in Hanoi. The city was about to become the capital of a unified Vietnam. “All the roads were flooded by people holding flags,” Nguyen, now 65, told me recently. “There were no bombs or airplane sounds or screaming. The happy moment was indescribable.”

This happened 4 years after I returned to the US…I was working as a warehouse manager working nights.

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12 thoughts on “Closing Thought–30Apr20–#2

  1. I have to say that I was sad for all those deaths and injuries on both sides, but pleased to see the country unified under a leader who was not a corrupt puppet of the US. For you, I understand why there are other feelings, and different memories.
    RIP to all those lost in that awful war.
    Best wishes, Pete.

  2. Yeah… by some strange twist of fate I was never sent to Nam in my four years of service… but I left the service the previous February. Even then I had a sense of history.. and given there was no video for the civilian market I audio taped to my cassette player some of the events of the day.. and still have that audio on the PC… in particular the CBS coverage of the Fall of Saigon.. as it was happening. Interesting times they were.
    But it’s like that ancient curse once said… “May he live in interesting times.” and we still are.

  3. I remember this day very well. i was working in a restaurant/lounge and I saw it on the TV. I was standing next to an Army vet that starting cursing out the South Vietnamese for surrendering. It made him feel that what he did and how his friends died was for nothing.

    1. Apparently he did not have that much exposure to the ARVIN…..we bush bunnies knew they could not last without the US….his friends died for nothing had nothing to do with the Vietnamese and everything to do with hubris from the US chuq

      1. That is BULLSHIT! I do not hate this country I just have balls enough to speak up…need more people like me chuq

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