Vietnam War: April 30th 1975 – The Most Remembered Day of the War

Essay by tuyetkatieCollege, UndergraduateA-, July 2008

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April 30, 1975 the date that goes into the history of South Vietnam and the minds of many South Vietnamese as well as many Vietnamese-Americans. Especially, war veterans like Senator John Mc. Cain, this day remind him of a most painful memory, bruised and bitter feelings. On that day, North Vietnamese communist troops triumphantly rode T-54 Soviet-made tanks in column on one main street of Saigon leading to the South Vietnamese Presidential Palace, called "Doc Lap" (Independence) Palace. The tanks crushed the main gate entrance, without any resistance from the palace guards (actually all guards had already vanished before that time). Moments later, the North Communist flag, the red flag with a yellow star in the center, and the Vietcong's flag flew on the roof of the building. Within the next hour, the President of the defeated South Vietnamese government, General Duong Van Minh, was heard over Saigon Radio making an announcement of his government's unconditional surrender to the North Vietnam army.

The president ordered all South Vietnamese armed forces to lay down weapons and surrender unconditionally to the Northern victors. April 30, 1975 became the date that marks the fall of Saigon, and the end of a thirty-year-long, bloodied, costly, and brutal war between the North and the South, or a war that serves as the battle front between the communist and totalitarian ideology against the free and democratic ideology.

Over thirty years have passed and many Vietnamese still do not forget that date. Why is it so persistently remembered by millions of South Vietnamese? These days in the month of April, 2008, driving around areas people can see large concentrations of Vietnamese refugee population in many American metropolitan areas. For instance, in the San Francisco-San Jose metropolitan area in Northern California, the Los Angeles-Riverside-Orange County metropolitan...