Commemorating the Fall of Saigon this Wednesday?
April 30 marks the 33rd anniversary of the Fall of Saigon – the end of the Vietnam War, in which more than 58,000 American troops and several million Vietnamese were killed. Here’s the iconic UPI photo of the frantic 1975 evacuation of American officials and South Vietnamese civilians onto a CIA helicopter; many Americans born afterwards probably picture the helicopter lifting off the stage in a “Miss Saigon” performance. (Fun fact I learned during my tour of Ho Chi Minh City a few months ago: Contrary to popular opinion, the helicopter was NOT on top of the U.S. embassy, but another building in downtown Saigon.)
How will Lower Hudson Valley veterans and residents observe this day?
According to this column in The Daily News of Longview, Washington:
In this country, war veterans will wear full military regalia and attend commemoration ceremonies to pay tribute to their fallen and missing colleagues; they lay wreaths and listen to patriotic songs. In Vietnam, colorful parades will be held to celebrate Liberation Day and the victory over U.S. and South Vietnamese forces. In many Vietnamese communities around the globe, especially in America, the date will be remembered as the â€œDate of Sorrow.â€ Ceremonies will be held under the banner â€œRemembering the past, shaping the future.â€ They salute a yellow flag with three red horizontal stripes. It is not the official flag of any country in the world. But to them, this flag of a country past represents their heritage and their history. They have long wanted to preserve it and make it their official flag.