Vietnam War peace accord 50 years old!

This month marks the 50th anniversary of when the Vietnam War finally ended. A Peace Accord was reached on January 27, 1973, making way for the complete removal of all troops by March 29th of the same year.

Many of us remember the chaotic pictures of persons trying to flee Saigon on the last day reminding me of the chaos that erupted when the United States ended The Afghanistan War on August 2021. The Vietnam War was America’s longest war ever until Afghanistan overtook it. Both wars became highly unpopular and some believe that politics had a lot to do with both battlefronts.

Fifty years ago the Vietnam War finally ended, but for many like myself, it feels like it was only yesterday.

First Lieutenant Michael J Contos served as a grunt in the Vietnam War

Background of those who served in Vietnam per the VFW:

  • Less than 10 percent of the males of their generation served in the war, which occurred from August 5, 1964, to March 28, 1973.
  • The total number of deaths with names on the wall in Washington DC is 58,281, according to the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Foundation. Photos of each service person are available on the Internet.
  • More than 17,000 married men were killed.
  • More than 60 percent of those killed were 21 years old or younger.
  • The infantry branch, in which I served as a combat platoon leader, had the highest percentage of “hostile deaths” – 70 percent of my fellow grunts paid the ultimate price.
  • Some 25 percent of the forces serving in Vietnam were drafted just like me. More than 15,000 were among the hostile deaths.
  • More than 75 percent of the men sent to fight in Vietnam were from lower middle/working-class backgrounds.
  • Edison High School of Philadelphia had the largest number of former students who were killed in the Vietnam War – 64. Father Judge of Mayfair, PA, and the former high school of Cardinal Dougherty had the largest number of Catholic school deaths in the war – 27 for each.
  • The average age of the Vietnam War GI was 22.
  • Ninety percent of those who saw heavy combat are proud to have served, according to VFW Magazine.
  • Sixty-six percent said they would serve again if needed!

14 comments on “Vietnam War peace accord 50 years old!

  1. Larry Serviolo says:

    Thanks for the unpleasant reminders. We should never forget, and future generations should always know the truth.

    Like

  2. Peace be with you brother ! Thank you for the reminder, and for your service …

    Like

  3. cabrogal says:

    To me it wasn’t over until it was over – 1975 when Saigon fell. Even years after that I was still having nightmares there’d been some sort of mistake, the war was on again and I’d been conscripted.

    Everyone talks about the scenes on the roof of the US embassy but my most vivid memory was the end of those flights, with perfectly good Hueys being shoved into the ocean from carrier decks to make room for the next landing.

    But emotionally the strongest memory I have of the end of the war was the aircraft evacuating war orphans cracking up on the runway and killing all those children. They thought they were escaping.

    When I was in Vietnam in 1990-91 the war was still very much a presence, from all the people with prosthetic limbs to all the perfectly circular ponds around every road or rail bridge to all the vacant blocks in central Hue to my coffee maker made from the skin of a downed B-52 to my bong made from an AA shell casing. The country was just opening up to non-Comecon tourists and there was already a war memorabilia industry in full swing, even though everywhere I went the kids called out “Lien Xo!” (“Soviet!”) when they saw a white face. There was brisk trade in Zippos engraved with the names of US servicemen, but not to me. Some of them would have been taken off corpses.

    I guess wars never really end.

    Liked by 2 people

    • contoveros says:

      Wow. I forgot about many of those details. I still miss calling the main city Saigon instead of Ho Chi Min City.
      I wonder if somebody still has the dog tags I lost when my duffle bag fell off the truck that was carrying me from a base camp to the airport before returning back to the States. I lost a really cool 35-millimeter camera and all of my clothes. I had to borrow boots and a hat to be properly dressed to get onto the military plane.

      Yes, the photo of children being discarded and left behind was the worst picture America was shown in ending this war. I pray that it will never happen again but like you said “wars never really end!”

      Liked by 2 people

      • cabrogal says:

        I still miss calling the main city Saigon instead of Ho Chi Minh City.

        There’s still a district of Ho Chi Minh City called Saigon. When I was there it was the main tourist and entertainment area. It was full of the pedophile tourists and expats the government of Thailand had recently run out of Pattaya and Patpong.

        During the war the Marxist government of West Bengal in India renamed the Calcutta (now Kolkhata) road the US consulate was on ‘Ho Chi Minh Sarani’.

        Like

        • contoveros says:

          Ho Chi Minh City.
          Thanks for the correction of my spelling. You know I once served with two different “Kit Carson”
          scouts that were South Vietnamese soldiers who did all the translating for me.

          One was mean as hell and the other was full of joy and compassion.

          Either one would have gotten me to spell the new name for old Saigon.

          Like

  4. Thankful for peace!

    Thanks so much for sharing this information.

    Liked by 1 person

    • contoveros says:

      Yes, Peace is what we all should be thankful for . . .

      I often reflect upon Civil War Union General William T Sherman who was quoted saying:

      “War is Hell.
      “It is only those who have neither fired a shot nor heard the shrieks and groans of the wounded who cry aloud for blood, more vengeance, more desolation. . .”

      Liked by 2 people

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