Forty years later

The Vietnam War

Sophia Paffel, Reporter

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April 30, 2015 will mark the 40th anniversary of the end of the Vietnam War.  The Vietnam War was the longest war in American history. This year is very important because on April 30 of this year it will have been 40 years since the fall of Saigon, the capitol of South Vietnam, leading to the end of the war.

The war started when the Vietnamese and France waged an anti-colonial war. When France lost there was a Convention in Geneva, and Laos, Cambodia and Vietnam were given their independence. As a result, South Vietnam were temporarily separated from North Vietnam. South Vietnam was anti-Communist and North Vietnam was Communist. Following many disagreements South Vietnam refused to hold unification elections. By 1958, North Vietnam-supporting guerillas, known as the Viet Cong, began to battle with the South Vietnamese government.

Throughout the war there were two American presidents, President Lyndon Johnson and President Richard Nixon. The Vietnam War lasted from 1954 through 1975. Nearly 60,000 Americans died, and it has been estimated that there were over two million Vietnamese deaths, as a result of the war. In April of 1975 South Vietnam fell to the North Vietnamese Army and the country was reunited.

We have come a long way since the war. For example, you will see on the tags of products in local stores, “Made in Vietnam.” America is now trading and buying with Vietnam and we are getting along pretty well. This is a sign of the way that things can change in just a few years.

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