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35 years since the fall of Saigon

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Post 30 Apr 2010, 21:26
Vietnam celebrates 35th anniversary of the end of the war

Socialist Vietnam are celebrating on the 35th anniversary of its military victory over US-led occupation forces.

War veterans, Communist Party cadres and ordinary citizens took part in a parade and re-enactment of the moment on April 30 1975 when Vietnam People's Army tanks smashed through the gates of the former presidential palace in what was then Saigon, overthrowing the south Vietnam puppet regime, bringing the war to an end and clearing the way for national reunification.

A crowd of 50,000 lined the Ho Chi Minh City parade route, which was adorned with a massive poster of the city's namesake, president of the Democratic Republic of Vietnam until his death in 1969.

In his anniversary speech, Ho Chi Minh City Veterans Association chairman Lieutenant General Le Thanh Tam warned that Vietnam had to be wary of "hostile forces who use democracy and human rights as a pretext to sabotage Vietnam.

"We affirm that the Communist Party of Vietnam is the only party which has the prestige to lead the Vietnamese people to stable development and international integration," Lt Gen Tam affirmed.


US Senator Sam Webb, a Vietnam veteran, had the gall to mark the anniversary of the end of their intervention as well. You might remember him running in a anti-Iraq War platform, campaigning with his son's combat boots.

Goals are still the same today: Webb

"I'm hopeful that with the progress made over the years we can achieve the objective we once tried to achieve on the battlefield ... an open government and a high level of stability in the region," Webb said Friday on the Senate floor.

The U.S. attempt to staunch the movement of communism into South Vietnam "allowed other countries in Southeast Asia to build governmental systems a free-market economies," Webb said.


Contribution of the U.S. military who served in Vietnam "generally are dismissed or downplayed," said Webb, who has been visiting the Southeast Asian country since 1991.

"We put 2.7 million American military people into that country against a very, very capable enemy," Web said.

While the United States lost about 58,000 personnel in battle, the government in Hanoi said 1.4 million Communist soldiers died in the war, he said.

"This was a brutal war," Webb said. "And its aftermath is almost never discussed."
Post 07 May 2010, 20:00
The Boston Globe has put up a picture gallery with images from the Vietnam War.

Powerful stuff.
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