You lost America
Vietnam Fetes 30 Years Since War's End
By TINI TRAN, Associated Press Writer 39 minutes ago
HO CHI MINH CITY, Vietnam - Vietnam celebrated the communist victory over a U.S.-backed government Saturday, parading its troops down the same boulevard along which tanks rolled to smash into the Presidential Palace of South Vietnam 30 years ago.
Watched by the country's top leaders and legendary figures like Gen. Vo Nguyen Giap, soldiers, government workers and performers marched with red flags waving toward the palace gates. Hundreds of aging veterans, their chests dripping with medals, watched from the sidelines.
Giant billboards of Ho Chi Minh, Vietnam's revolutionary leader, dominated the parade ground and adjoining streets which had been blocked off to the public because of security concerns.
On April 30, 1975, North Vietnamese tanks barreled through the gates of the palace, the heart of the U.S.-backed Saigon government. The fall of Saigon marked the official end to the Vietnam War, and the U.S.'s decade-long involvement in Southeast Asia. The war claimed some 58,000 American lives and an estimated 3 million Vietnamese.
"I was listening to the radio with my family and heard that Saigon had been liberated. I was very happy because for many years we weren't free. After 30 years we have rebuilt our country. Our land is safe and secure and I think the future will be better for my children," said To Thanh Nghia, 51, a government worker marching in the parade.
But the atmosphere in the country three decades later has been mostly festive, focusing on Vietnam's economic rejuvenation in recent years. Memories of the war and its aftermath are little more than anecdotes in history books for the majority of the country's population who were born after it ended.
Hmmm, I wonder how we will get our Iraqi collaborators out? By C-130?
posted by Steve @ 1:02:00 AM