Annotated Transcript Of Episode 10

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ANNOTATED TRANSCRIPT BURNS EPISODE 10 The Weight of Memory (March 1973-Onward)

Color Coding: Red = False statement; Yellow = Warning; Green = Not yet used; Blue = Interesting, warranting Attention;

Gray = I’ve got to study and verify this item; Pink = Loaded Words?

MINUTES 1-10

1

00:00:01,566 --> 00:00:03,000 ANNOUNCER: MAJOR SUPPORT FOR "THE VIETNAM WAR"

2

00:00:03,000 --> 00:00:06,500 WAS PROVIDED BY MEMBERS OF THE BETTER ANGELS SOCIETY,

3

00:00:06,500 --> 00:00:10,466 INCLUDING JONATHAN AND JEANNIE LAVINE,

4

00:00:10,466 --> 00:00:13,366 DIANE AND HAL BRIERLEY,

5

00:00:13,366 --> 00:00:15,766 AMY AND DAVID ABRAMS,

6

00:00:15,766 --> 00:00:18,266 JOHN AND CATHERINE DEBS,

7

00:00:18,266 --> 00:00:21,166 THE FULLERTON FAMILY CHARITABLE FUND,

8

00:00:21,166 --> 00:00:23,233 THE MONTRONE FAMILY,

9

00:00:23,233 --> 00:00:25,566 LYNDA AND STEWART RESNICK,

10

00:00:25,566 --> 00:00:28,333 THE PERRY AND DONNA GOLKIN FAMILY FOUNDATION,

11

00:00:28,333 --> 00:00:29,333 THE LYNCH FOUNDATION,

12

00:00:29,333 --> 00:00:32,200 THE ROGER AND ROSEMARY ENRICO FOUNDATION,

13

00:00:32,200 --> 00:00:35,633 AND BY THESE ADDITIONAL FUNDERS.

14

00:00:35,633 --> 00:00:37,533 MAJOR FUNDING WAS ALSO PROVIDED

15

00:00:37,533 --> 00:00:39,266 BY DAVID H. KOCH...

16

00:00:41,566 --> 00:00:43,766 THE BLAVATNIK FAMILY FOUNDATION...

17

00:00:46,100 --> 00:00:48,533 THE PARK FOUNDATION,

18

00:00:48,533 --> 00:00:50,700 THE NATIONAL ENDOWMENT FOR THE HUMANITIES,

19

00:00:50,700 --> 00:00:52,900 THE PEW CHARITABLE TRUSTS,

20

00:00:52,900 --> 00:00:55,566 THE JOHN S. AND JAMES L. KNIGHT FOUNDATION,

21

00:00:55,566 --> 00:00:58,333 THE ANDREW W. MELLON FOUNDATION,

22

00:00:58,333 --> 00:01:01,000 THE ARTHUR VINING DAVIS FOUNDATIONS,

23

00:01:01,000 --> 00:01:03,200 THE FORD FOUNDATION JUSTFILMS,

24

00:01:03,200 --> 00:01:04,400 BY THE CORPORATION

25

00:01:04,400 --> 00:01:05,633 FOR PUBLIC BROADCASTING,

26

00:01:05,633 --> 00:01:07,600 AND BY VIEWERS LIKE YOU.

27

00:01:07,600 --> 00:01:08,733 THANK YOU.

28

00:01:13,266 --> 00:01:15,400 ANNOUNCER: BANK OF AMERICA PROUDLY SUPPORTS

29

00:01:15,400 --> 00:01:20,300 KEN BURNS' AND LYNN NOVICK'S FILM "THE VIETNAM WAR"

30

00:01:20,300 --> 00:01:22,700 BECAUSE FOSTERING DIFFERENT PERSPECTIVES

31

00:01:22,700 --> 00:01:25,300 AND CIVIL DISCOURSE AROUND IMPORTANT ISSUES

32

00:01:25,300 --> 00:01:27,600 FURTHERS PROGRESS, EQUALITY,

33

00:01:27,600 --> 00:01:29,600 AND A MORE CONNECTED SOCIETY.

34

00:01:34,066 --> 00:01:38,100 GO TO BANKOFAMERICA.COM/ BETTERCONNECTED TO LEARN MORE.

35

00:02:10,400 --> 00:02:13,066 TIM O'BRIEN: AUTHOR They shared the weight of memory.

36

00:02:14,566 --> 00:02:18,433 They took up what others could no longer bear.

37

00:02:20,733 --> 00:02:25,933 Often, they carried each other, the wounded or weak.

38

00:02:26,033 --> 00:02:27,600 They carried infections.

39

00:02:27,700 --> 00:02:29,800 They carried chess sets, basketballs,

40

00:02:29,900 --> 00:02:32,033 Vietnamese-English dictionaries,

41

00:02:32,133 --> 00:02:35,700 insignia of rank, Bronze Stars, and Purple Hearts,

42

00:02:35,800 --> 00:02:39,833 plastic cards imprinted with the Code of Conduct.

43

00:02:39,933 --> 00:02:42,566 (thunder rumbles)

44

00:02:42,666 --> 00:02:46,466 They carried diseases, among them malaria and dysentery.

45

00:02:50,300 --> 00:02:54,833 They carried lice and ringworm and leeches and paddy algae

46

00:02:54,933 --> 00:02:57,233 and various rots and molds.

47

00:02:59,100 --> 00:03:00,400 (rain pouring)

48

00:03:01,566 --> 00:03:05,133 They carried the land itself--

49

00:03:05,233 --> 00:03:07,066 Vietnam.

50

00:03:21,633 --> 00:03:25,033 ("My Country 'Tis of Thee" playing) The White House Salutes Our Prisoners of War

51

00:03:25,133 --> 00:03:28,033 JOHN McCAIN: (mouths): Thank you.

52

00:03:31,466 --> 00:03:34,400 (indistinct chatter)

53

00:03:34,500 --> 00:03:37,966 (applause) 54

00:03:43,533 --> 00:03:49,033 NIXON: I can tell you, as I look back over those months and years,

55

00:03:49,133 --> 00:03:52,433 that we have met with the wives and the mothers

56

00:03:52,533 --> 00:03:56,966 of those of you who were prisoners of war,

57

00:03:57,066 --> 00:04:02,800 they were and are the bravest, most magnificent women

58

00:04:02,900 --> 00:04:04,366 I have ever met in my life.

59

00:04:05,966 --> 00:04:08,100 And now, if they will give me my official toasting glass,

60

00:04:08,200 --> 00:04:09,533 I will propose the toast.

61

00:04:11,033 --> 00:04:12,033 Tonight...

62

00:04:12,133 --> 00:04:15,366 NARRATOR: On May 24, 1973,

63

00:04:15,466 --> 00:04:17,266 President Nixon invited

64

00:04:17,366 --> 00:04:20,566 all the returned prisoners of war and their families

65

00:04:20,666 --> 00:04:22,433 to Washington.

66

00:04:22,533 --> 00:04:25,500 Among them was Everett Alvarez,

67

00:04:25,600 --> 00:04:29,933 the first pilot shot down over North Vietnam.

68

00:04:30,033 --> 00:04:32,100 EVERETT ALVAREZ: Sometimes, I feel too much attention

69

00:04:32,200 --> 00:04:35,166 was being paid to us, the P.O.W.s.

70

00:04:35,266 --> 00:04:37,966 And what about the poor guys that fought the war, those kids?

71

00:04:38,066 --> 00:04:43,200 You know, that came home, um, you know, amputees...

72

00:04:43,300 --> 00:04:49,233 Uh, wounded with the injuries of war.

73

00:04:49,333 --> 00:04:51,400 What about them?

74

00:04:51,500 --> 00:04:54,033 We had our own challenges,

75

00:04:54,133 --> 00:04:56,600 and the key was to, to face these

76

00:04:56,700 --> 00:04:59,433 and yet maintain our, our honor.

77

00:04:59,533 --> 00:05:01,333 That's what it was.

78

00:05:03,233 --> 00:05:05,766 NARRATOR: Dr. Hal Kushner,

79

00:05:05,866 --> 00:05:08,600 who had been a prisoner for more than five years,

80

00:05:08,700 --> 00:05:11,133 was unable to attend.

81

00:05:11,233 --> 00:05:15,266 He was reunited with his family at Valley Forge.

82

00:05:15,366 --> 00:05:19,366 HAL KUSHNER: We flew to Valley Forge, Pennsylvania.

83

00:05:19,466 --> 00:05:23,466 And I came off the helicopter and I saw my wife...

84

00:05:26,466 --> 00:05:29,166 ...and my daughter,

85

00:05:29,266 --> 00:05:30,966 who I hadn't seen since she was 2 1/2

86

00:05:31,066 --> 00:05:33,033 And she was born in 1963.

87

00:05:39,500 --> 00:05:44,200 So she was ten years old.

88

00:05:44,300 --> 00:05:46,000 And my son, who I had never seen,

89

00:05:46,100 --> 00:05:48,300 a week before his fifth birthday.

90

00:05:48,400 --> 00:05:52,066 And he had on a little tie and a little coat.

91

00:05:55,600 --> 00:05:57,300 And my mom and dad.

92

00:05:57,400 --> 00:06:02,266 And my mother was just overcome with emotion.

93

00:06:05,500 --> 00:06:09,166 And I just...

94

00:06:09,266 --> 00:06:12,900 It was just an incomprehensible moment.

95

00:06:13,000 --> 00:06:15,233 And we hugged everybody.

96

00:06:15,333 --> 00:06:18,133 And my little boy had a flag, American flag.

97

00:06:21,233 --> 00:06:24,500 NARRATOR: Like many P.O.W. marriages,

98

00:06:24,600 --> 00:06:28,766 Hal Kushner's would not survive. THE VIETNAM WAR

99

00:06:48,900 --> 00:06:52,833 On March 29, 1973,

100

00:06:52,933 --> 00:06:56,933 the last American troops left South Vietnam.

101

00:06:57,033 --> 00:07:00,666 Fewer than 200 Marines would remain,

102

00:07:00,766 --> 00:07:03,366 assigned to guard consular offices

103

00:07:03,466 --> 00:07:05,033 and the American Embassy

104

00:07:05,133 --> 00:07:08,333 and other installations in Saigon.

105

00:07:08,433 --> 00:07:14,166 Thousands of other Americans, including C.I.A. agents,

106

00:07:14,266 --> 00:07:16,300 diplomats, and contractors,

107

00:07:16,400 --> 00:07:18,300 stayed behind, as well.

108

00:07:20,766 --> 00:07:22,666 Over the next two years,

109

00:07:22,766 --> 00:07:25,066 the forces of North and South Vietnam

110

00:07:25,166 --> 00:07:29,200 would continue to savage one another.

111

00:07:29,300 --> 00:07:33,700 And the Vietnamese people would find themselves

112

00:07:33,800 --> 00:07:35,800 back where they were at the beginning,

113

00:07:35,900 --> 00:07:40,433 engulfed in an apparently endless civil war

114

00:07:40,533 --> 00:07:45,133 and struggling over what kind of future they would have.

115

00:07:48,833 --> 00:07:53,300 For the United States, combat did end,

116

00:07:53,400 --> 00:07:58,533 but controversy over the war did not.

117

00:07:58,633 --> 00:08:01,333 TIM O'BRIEN: ARMY The best you could say about Vietnam

118

00:08:01,433 --> 00:08:04,833 was that certain blood was being shed

119

00:08:04,933 --> 00:08:07,233 for uncertain reasons.

120

00:08:07,333 --> 00:08:09,133 The blood was for sure--

121

00:08:09,233 --> 00:08:10,766 the bodies, the widows, the orphans--

122

00:08:10,866 --> 00:08:12,266 they were certain.

123

00:08:12,366 --> 00:08:17,033 Nobody disputed it, the dead people were dead.

124

00:08:17,133 --> 00:08:21,700 But the rectitude of the war was in great dispute.

125

00:08:21,800 --> 00:08:23,333 Smart people in pinstripes

126

00:08:23,433 --> 00:08:25,366 couldn't make their minds up about the war.

127

00:08:34,100 --> 00:08:36,666 STUART HERRINGTON: And I remember asking myself...

128

00:08:41,700 --> 00:08:44,933 "Was it worth it?"

129

00:08:45,033 --> 00:08:50,300 Maybe it was all a big mistake, and, you know,

130

00:08:50,400 --> 00:08:53,033 what, what was it all about?

131

00:08:53,133 --> 00:08:56,066 We answered the call,

132

00:08:56,166 --> 00:08:59,033 me and probably 2 1/2 million other young Americans

133

00:08:59,133 --> 00:09:01,300 who went over there.

134

00:09:01,400 --> 00:09:07,166 It was a cause worth the effort.

135

00:09:07,266 --> 00:09:10,766 And sometimes, things just don't turn out

136

00:09:10,866 --> 00:09:13,133 and the guys in the white hats don't win.

137

00:09:13,233 --> 00:09:15,600 But that doesn't make it, uh,

138

00:09:15,700 --> 00:09:19,000 or doesn't basically take away

139

00:09:19,100 --> 00:09:22,000 from the rectitude[1] of the cause. EPISODE TEN THE WEIGHT OF MEMORY (MARCH 1973 - Onward) [2]

140

00:09:46,333 --> 00:09:48,866 SEN SAM ERVIN (D-NC) Subcommittee will come to order.

141

00:09:48,966 --> 00:09:51,166 NARRATOR: Night after night during the spring, summer,

142

00:09:51,266 --> 00:09:53,700 and fall of 1973,

143

00:09:53,800 --> 00:09:56,600 Americans watched the Nixon administration

144

00:09:56,700 --> 00:09:59,000 slowly come apart.

145

00:09:59,100 --> 00:10:00,633 Blackmail,

146

00:10:00,733 --> 00:10:02,566 enemies lists,

147

00:10:02,666 --> 00:10:04,633 dirty tricks,[3]

148

00:10:04,733 --> 00:10:07,833 a Vice President forced to resign,

149

00:10:07,933 --> 00:10:10,866 perjury, cover-up,

150

00:10:10,966 --> 00:10:14,266 abuse of presidential power,

151

00:10:14,366 --> 00:10:17,566 secret White House tapes.

MINUTES 10-20

152

00:10:17,666 --> 00:10:18,966 FRED THOMPSON (Minority Counsel for Senate Watergate Committee): Mr. Butterfield, are you aware

153

00:10:19,066 --> 00:10:21,100 of the installation of any listening devices

154

00:10:21,200 --> 00:10:23,066 in the Oval Office of the president?

155

00:10:26,833 --> 00:10:30,900 ALEXANDER BUTTRFIELD: I was aware of listening devices.

156

00:10:31,000 --> 00:10:32,633 Yes, sir.

157

00:10:32,733 --> 00:10:34,166 JOHN CHANCELLOR (?): Good evening.

158

00:10:34,266 --> 00:10:36,833 The country tonight is in the midst of what may be

159

00:10:36,933 --> 00:10:39,400 the most serious constitutional crisis

160

00:10:39,500 --> 00:10:41,000 in its history.

161

00:10:41,100 --> 00:10:42,933 JOHN DEAN (White House Counsel): I told the President about the fact

162

00:10:43,033 --> 00:10:45,300 that there were money demands being made

163

00:10:45,400 --> 00:10:47,333 by the seven convicted defendants.[4]

164

00:10:47,433 --> 00:10:49,533 He asked me how much it would cost.

165

00:10:49,633 --> 00:10:51,833 I told him I could only make an estimate

166

00:10:51,933 --> 00:10:55,400 that it might be as high as a million dollars or more.

167

00:10:55,500 --> 00:10:58,400 He told me that that was no problem.

168

00:10:58,500 --> 00:11:02,433 NIXON: I had no prior knowledge of the Watergate break-in.

169

00:11:02,533 --> 00:11:05,766 I neither took part in nor knew about

170

00:11:05,866 --> 00:11:08,700 any of the subsequent cover-up activities.

171

00:11:10,733 --> 00:11:12,033 JACK TOBIN: The one frustrating thing about...

172

00:11:12,133 --> 00:11:13,433 about going to Canada was,

173

00:11:13,533 --> 00:11:16,133 it left me outside the debate here.

174

00:11:16,233 --> 00:11:18,933 I felt about... frustrated with that till this day.

175

00:11:19,033 --> 00:11:23,233 NARRATOR: As the Watergate scandal unfolded, Jack Todd,

176

00:11:23,333 --> 00:11:25,533 who had deserted the United States Army

177

00:11:25,633 --> 00:11:26,666 and fled to Canada,

178

00:11:26,766 --> 00:11:29,100 had never felt so bitter,

179

00:11:29,200 --> 00:11:31,633 so disenchanted, so out of touch

180

00:11:31,733 --> 00:11:34,633 with what the United States seemed to have become.

181

00:11:34,733 --> 00:11:40,466 He asked himself, "How did we let this gang take charge?"

182

00:11:40,566 --> 00:11:45,966 Then he made a decision he would always regret:

183

00:11:46,066 --> 00:11:50,166 he renounced his American citizenship.[5]

184

00:11:50,266 --> 00:11:52,233 JACK TODD: I thought it was a political act,

185

00:11:52,333 --> 00:11:55,233 renouncing my American citizenship.

186

00:11:55,333 --> 00:11:59,833 And it was the stupidest thing I have ever done in my life.

187

00:11:59,933 --> 00:12:02,266 I'm a Canadian citizen and I'm proud of it.

188

00:12:02,366 --> 00:12:06,100 It's a wonderful country, but in here, I'm an American.

189

00:12:13,900 --> 00:12:15,233 JOHN NEGROPONTE: Well, the agreement was called

190

00:12:15,333 --> 00:12:17,300 "The Agreement to End the War

191

00:12:17,400 --> 00:12:20,000 and Restore Peace in Vietnam."

192

00:12:20,100 --> 00:12:23,833 And, of course, that was a huge euphemism.

193

00:12:23,933 --> 00:12:27,133 It neither ended the war nor did it restore peace.

194

00:12:27,233 --> 00:12:29,666 And if you look at the substance of it,

195

00:12:29,766 --> 00:12:31,100 it really was a withdrawal agreement.

196

00:12:31,200 --> 00:12:33,033 We were withdrawing our forces

197

00:12:33,133 --> 00:12:36,033 in exchange for prisoners of war.

198

00:12:36,133 --> 00:12:40,900 Those are the two matters that were definitively settled

199

00:12:41,000 --> 00:12:42,500 by the peace agreement.

200

00:12:42,600 --> 00:12:47,633 We got our troops out and we got our prisoners back.

201

00:12:47,733 --> 00:12:54,200 The rest is just all a model of nebulosity and vagueness

202

00:12:54,300 --> 00:12:56,666 and didn't resolve a darn thing.

203

00:12:57,733 --> 00:13:00,233 LAM QUANG THI: SOUTH VIETNAMESE ARMY The Americans agreed to let 145,000 North Vietnamese troops stay in the South after the cease-fire. How can we say it was a good cease-fire if 145,000 troops remained in our country? And after the cease-fire, the North Vietnamese started attacking immediately.

204

00:13:28,733 --> 00:13:30,800 NARRATOR: Neither North nor South Vietnam

205

00:13:30,900 --> 00:13:34,166 had had any intention of observing the cease-fire

206

00:13:34,266 --> 00:13:36,733 called for in the peace treaty signed in Paris

207

00:13:36,833 --> 00:13:41,133 on January 27, 1973.

208

00:13:41,233 --> 00:13:43,533 Even before the ink was dry,

209

00:13:43,633 --> 00:13:48,000 each side had sought to claim as much territory as it could

210

00:13:48,100 --> 00:13:52,333 in what became known as "the War of the Flags."

211

00:13:52,433 --> 00:13:54,866 Within three weeks of the ceasefire,

212

00:13:54,966 --> 00:14:00,300 there were already some 3,000 violations by both sides.

213

00:14:00,400 --> 00:14:03,766 South Vietnamese President Nguyen Van Thieu,

214

00:14:03,866 --> 00:14:07,366 who now commanded the fifth-largest army on Earth,[6]

215

00:14:07,466 --> 00:14:12,900 insisted the ARVN take and hold every inch of South Vietnam,

216

00:14:13,000 --> 00:14:14,966 something they had been unable to do

217

00:14:15,066 --> 00:14:20,433 even with the help of nearly 600,000 American troops.

218

00:14:20,533 --> 00:14:22,266 (explosion)

219

00:14:22,366 --> 00:14:25,466 Meanwhile, the North Vietnamese had attacked Tay Ninh,

220

00:14:25,566 --> 00:14:27,733 near the Cambodian border,

221

00:14:27,833 --> 00:14:30,666 hoping to establish a rival capital of their own

222

00:14:30,766 --> 00:14:32,700 in the South.

223

00:14:32,800 --> 00:14:37,300 Hanoi installed surface-to-air missiles near Khe Sanh,

224

00:14:37,400 --> 00:14:40,533 just below the DMZ.

225

00:14:40,633 --> 00:14:44,066 At the same time, ARVN troops attacked enclaves

226

00:14:44,166 --> 00:14:46,633 seized by the North Vietnamese.

227

00:14:46,733 --> 00:14:50,866 The fighting went on for months.

228

00:14:50,966 --> 00:14:54,166 Hanoi built a new paved highway

229

00:14:54,266 --> 00:14:56,600 within South Vietnam itself,

230

00:14:56,700 --> 00:15:00,900 down which convoys of 200 to 300 vehicles

231

00:15:01,000 --> 00:15:02,766 soon began streaming:

232

00:15:02,866 --> 00:15:08,700 trucks, tanks, and heavy guns moving in broad daylight.

233

00:15:08,800 --> 00:15:12,633 And they began laying down a giant oil pipeline

234

00:15:12,733 --> 00:15:17,100 to fuel their vehicles in the South.

235

00:15:17,200 --> 00:15:20,533 Nixon had privately promised President Thieu

236

00:15:20,633 --> 00:15:23,700 that he would retaliate with American airpower

237

00:15:23,800 --> 00:15:28,033 if Saigon ever seemed seriously threatened.

238

00:15:28,133 --> 00:15:29,666 (gavel banging)

239

00:15:29,766 --> 00:15:32,133 But in Washington, week by week,

240

00:15:32,233 --> 00:15:35,266 as the secrets of Watergate kept tumbling out,

241

00:15:35,366 --> 00:15:41,566 Nixon's influence on Capitol Hill steadily weakened.

242

00:15:41,666 --> 00:15:46,266 In June of 1973, an energized Congress,

243

00:15:46,366 --> 00:15:49,533 reflecting the views of a majority of Americans,

244

00:15:49,633 --> 00:15:52,833 voted to stop all military operations

245

00:15:52,933 --> 00:15:57,733 in or over Vietnam, Laos, or Cambodia

246

00:15:57,833 --> 00:15:59,566 by August 15,

247

00:15:59,666 --> 00:16:02,000 and insisted that they not be resumed

248

00:16:02,100 --> 00:16:04,933 without congressional approval.[7]

249

00:16:05,033 --> 00:16:07,133 "America wants peace,"

250

00:16:07,233 --> 00:16:10,733 Senator Edward Kennedy of Massachusetts declared.

251

00:16:10,833 --> 00:16:16,500 "Congress is strong in its resolve to end the killing."

252

00:16:16,600 --> 00:16:19,766 LEWIS SORLEY: ARMY To abandon the South Vietnamese,

253

00:16:19,866 --> 00:16:23,600 when all we were providing them at the end was money,

254

00:16:23,700 --> 00:16:25,600 was reprehensible,

255

00:16:25,700 --> 00:16:29,366 and disrespected the sacrifices of all soldiers,

256

00:16:29,466 --> 00:16:32,000 ours and the South Vietnamese.

257

00:16:32,100 --> 00:16:33,700 I think the moral obligation,

258

00:16:33,800 --> 00:16:36,866 that doesn't stem from a philosophical commitment

259

00:16:36,966 --> 00:16:38,200 to stopping communism.

260

00:16:38,300 --> 00:16:41,266 Now it stems from our keeping our promises

261

00:16:41,366 --> 00:16:45,333 to this erstwhile, unfortunate ally.

262

00:16:45,433 --> 00:16:47,200 That they had us as the ally

263

00:16:47,300 --> 00:16:49,533 where the other guys had the Soviet Union

264

00:16:49,633 --> 00:16:52,100 and communist China.

265

00:16:52,200 --> 00:16:53,866 Most Americans, I think,

266

00:16:53,966 --> 00:16:55,800 would not like to hear it said that the communists

267

00:16:55,900 --> 00:16:58,100 were more faithful allies than the United States.

268

00:16:58,200 --> 00:17:01,366 But that is, in fact, what the case was.

269

00:17:01,466 --> 00:17:04,866 ROBERT GARD: ARMY While one regrets that we pulled the rug out,

270

00:17:04,966 --> 00:17:06,733 in some respects,

271

00:17:06,833 --> 00:17:10,866 I think the ultimate outcome would've been the same.

272

00:17:10,966 --> 00:17:15,633 Had we continued, it would have cost

273

00:17:15,733 --> 00:17:18,533 probably more lives in the long term

274

00:17:18,633 --> 00:17:21,200 with no change in the outcome.

275

00:17:21,300 --> 00:17:23,500 NARRATOR: In the 18 bloody months

276

00:17:23,599 --> 00:17:25,966 that followed the signing of the peace accords,

277

00:17:26,066 --> 00:17:31,100 South Vietnam's position became more and more precarious.

278

00:17:31,200 --> 00:17:34,533 But by the summer of 1974,

279

00:17:34,633 --> 00:17:37,400 few Americans were paying attention.

280

00:17:37,500 --> 00:17:42,066 They were riveted by what was happening to their own country.

281

00:17:42,166 --> 00:17:44,700 PETER RODINO, CHAIRMAN, HOUSE JUDICIARY COMMITTEE (D-NJ) ...to investigate fully and completely

282

00:17:44,800 --> 00:17:47,500 whether sufficient grounds exist

283

00:17:47,600 --> 00:17:49,800 for the House of Representatives

284

00:17:49,900 --> 00:17:53,000 to exercise its constitutional power

285

00:17:53,100 --> 00:17:55,433 to impeach Richard M. Nixon,

286

00:17:55,533 --> 00:17:58,766 President of the United States of America.

287

00:17:58,866 --> 00:18:01,500 SPEAKER: Mr. Danielson? (D-CA) -Aye.

288

00:18:01,600 --> 00:18:05,633 SPEAKER: Mr. Drinan? (D-MA) -Aye.

289

00:18:05,733 --> 00:18:08,566 SPEAKER: Mr. Rangel? (D-NY) -Aye.

290

00:18:08,666 --> 00:18:10,566 SPEAKER: Ms. Jordan? (D-TX) -Aye.

291

00:18:10,666 --> 00:18:13,200 SPEAKER: Mr. Lott? (R-MS) -No.

292

00:18:13,300 --> 00:18:17,066 NARRATOR: On July 27, 1974,

293

00:18:17,166 --> 00:18:19,900 the House Judiciary Committee recommended

294

00:18:20,000 --> 00:18:24,800 that the President be impeached for abusing his office.

295

00:18:24,900 --> 00:18:28,566 On August 9, rather than face impeachment,

296

00:18:28,666 --> 00:18:32,500 Richard Nixon became the first president in American history

297

00:18:32,600 --> 00:18:34,433 to resign.

298

00:18:34,533 --> 00:18:36,366 NIXON: Always remember,

299

00:18:36,466 --> 00:18:38,633 others may hate you,

300

00:18:38,733 --> 00:18:42,400 but those who hate you don't win

301

00:18:42,500 --> 00:18:45,366 unless you hate them,

302

00:18:45,466 --> 00:18:48,300 and then you destroy yourself.

303

00:18:48,400 --> 00:18:51,566 NARRATOR: At the presidential palace in Saigon,

304

00:18:51,666 --> 00:18:54,366 President Thieu closed his office door

305

00:18:54,466 --> 00:18:56,766 and refused to see anyone.

306

00:18:56,866 --> 00:18:59,533 He had staked South Vietnam's survival

307

00:18:59,633 --> 00:19:01,800 on Nixon's personal pledge

308

00:19:01,900 --> 00:19:04,066 that North Vietnamese aggression would be met

309

00:19:04,166 --> 00:19:07,333 by renewed American airpower.

310

00:19:07,433 --> 00:19:12,000 Just a few days after the new President, Gerald Ford,

311

00:19:12,100 --> 00:19:13,633 moved into the White House,

312

00:19:13,733 --> 00:19:15,700 Congress cut in half the funds

313

00:19:15,800 --> 00:19:18,666 for military and economic assistance

314

00:19:18,766 --> 00:19:22,266 Nixon had promised to deliver to Saigon.[8]

315

00:19:23,766 --> 00:19:27,833 Conditions in South Vietnam continued to deteriorate.

316

00:19:27,933 --> 00:19:30,433 With the American military presence gone,

317

00:19:30,533 --> 00:19:35,066 one out of every five civilian workers was jobless.

318

00:19:35,166 --> 00:19:37,866 Prices soared.

319

00:19:41,733 --> 00:19:44,633 DUONG VAN MAI ELLIOTT: There were many mistakes made by the Americans,

320

00:19:44,733 --> 00:19:46,700 but the biggest mistake

321

00:19:46,800 --> 00:19:51,033 was in creating the sense of dependency.

322

00:19:51,133 --> 00:19:54,600 Another mistake was in creating an army in their own image,

323

00:19:54,700 --> 00:20:01,000 an army that was used to fighting a rich man's war.

324

00:20:01,100 --> 00:20:02,566 And South Vietnam was too poor

325

00:20:02,666 --> 00:20:05,400 to be able to sustain that kind of war.[9]

MINUTES 20-30

326

00:20:05,500 --> 00:20:09,600 NARRATOR: Thieu had steadily grown more authoritarian,

327

00:20:09,700 --> 00:20:13,700 closing newspapers, restricting opposition parties,

328

00:20:13,800 --> 00:20:18,566 selling political and military appointments.

329

00:20:18,666 --> 00:20:22,666 A coalition of Catholics and Buddhists[10] charged him

330

00:20:22,766 --> 00:20:26,166 with corrupting every aspect of South Vietnamese life,

331

00:20:26,266 --> 00:20:29,333 and demanded his resignation.

332

00:20:29,433 --> 00:20:31,266 Thousands of demonstrators

333

00:20:31,366 --> 00:20:34,333 poured into the streets of Saigon.

334

00:20:37,200 --> 00:20:41,333 Meanwhile, the chronically underpaid South Vietnamese Army

335

00:20:41,433 --> 00:20:44,666 had its pay cut further.

336

00:20:44,766 --> 00:20:47,900 It began to disintegrate.

337

00:20:48,000 --> 00:20:51,933 As many as 20,000 men were deserting each month,

338

00:20:52,033 --> 00:20:55,466 most heading home to try to help their families survive

339

00:20:55,566 --> 00:20:58,400 in such hard times.

340

00:20:58,500 --> 00:21:01,600 Those ARVN who stood and fought

341

00:21:01,700 --> 00:21:05,000 often had to do so without the sophisticated weaponry

342

00:21:05,100 --> 00:21:08,833 they'd been trained by the Americans to use.

343

00:21:08,933 --> 00:21:11,700 Much of the equipment Nixon had provided

344

00:21:11,800 --> 00:21:15,833 was ill-suited to the war the South was now waging,[11]

345

00:21:15,933 --> 00:21:18,800 aircraft for which there were no trained pilots

346

00:21:18,900 --> 00:21:20,633 or ground crews,

347

00:21:20,733 --> 00:21:22,966 artillery and military vehicles

348

00:21:23,066 --> 00:21:25,866 for which there were no spare parts.

349

00:21:25,966 --> 00:21:30,966 And the U.S. Congress was in no mood to provide more.

350

00:21:31,066 --> 00:21:33,400 Fuel ran low.

351

00:21:33,500 --> 00:21:36,433 So did ammunition.

352

00:21:36,533 --> 00:21:40,266 Before long, artillerymen in the Central Highlands

353

00:21:40,366 --> 00:21:43,566 could fire just four shells a day,

354

00:21:43,666 --> 00:21:49,266 and infantrymen were limited to 85 bullets a month.

355

00:21:50,500 --> 00:21:54,933 LAM QUANG THI: With one grenade and 85 bullets a month, how can you fight? After you've shot all 85 bullets, you can't fight anymore. Defeat was inevitable.

356

00:22:07,700 --> 00:22:09,800 NARRATOR: In November of 1974,

357

00:22:09,900 --> 00:22:14,233 the Politburo and the Central Military Committee met in Hanoi

358

00:22:14,333 --> 00:22:16,600 to discuss strategy.

359

00:22:16,700 --> 00:22:19,300 Some members urged caution.

360

00:22:19,400 --> 00:22:21,400 They worried that if they tried

361

00:22:21,500 --> 00:22:24,300 to push Saigon to the point of collapse too quickly,

362

00:22:24,400 --> 00:22:27,100 the Americans would return.

363

00:22:27,200 --> 00:22:32,900 Final victory, they calculated, would come in 1976.[12]

364

00:22:33,000 --> 00:22:37,566 Party First Secretary Le Duan didn't agree.

365

00:22:37,666 --> 00:22:40,600 "Now that the United States has pulled out," he said,

366

00:22:40,700 --> 00:22:44,400 "it will be hard for them to jump back in."

367

00:22:44,500 --> 00:22:46,766 He ordered a test attack

368

00:22:46,866 --> 00:22:50,266 to see if the Americans would intervene with airpower

369

00:22:50,366 --> 00:22:52,366 as they had during the Easter Offensive

370

00:22:52,466 --> 00:22:55,166 2 1/2 years earlier.

371

00:22:55,266 --> 00:22:56,700 (artillery fire)

372

00:22:56,800 --> 00:22:59,133 In December 1974,

373

00:22:59,233 --> 00:23:01,500 North Vietnamese forces attacked Phuoc Long,

374

00:23:01,600 --> 00:23:03,533 northeast of Saigon.

375

00:23:07,566 --> 00:23:11,533 Within three weeks, they had overrun the entire province

376

00:23:11,633 --> 00:23:16,833 and had killed or captured thousands of ARVN defenders.

377

00:23:16,933 --> 00:23:21,900 The United States did nothing in response.

378

00:23:22,000 --> 00:23:27,266 President Ford, preoccupied with other problems--

379

00:23:27,366 --> 00:23:31,366 inflation, unemployment, tensions in the Middle East--

380

00:23:31,466 --> 00:23:33,066 held a press conference

381

00:23:33,166 --> 00:23:37,200 that offered the South Vietnamese no comfort.

382

00:23:37,300 --> 00:23:38,666 REPORTER: January 21, 1975 Are you considering

383

00:23:38,766 --> 00:23:40,500 any additional measures, beyond a supplemental,

384

00:23:40,600 --> 00:23:43,566 of assistance to the South Vietnamese government?

385

00:23:43,666 --> 00:23:47,200 I am not anticipating

386

00:23:47,300 --> 00:23:50,200 any further action beyond that supplemental

387

00:23:50,300 --> 00:23:51,600 at this time.

388

00:23:51,700 --> 00:23:54,300 NARRATOR: Washington seemed to have no interest

389

00:23:54,400 --> 00:23:56,366 in fulfilling the secret pledges

390

00:23:56,466 --> 00:23:59,700 Nixon had repeatedly made to Thieu.

391

00:23:59,800 --> 00:24:02,733 He [Thieu] was stunned.

392

00:24:02,833 --> 00:24:04,800 STUART HERRINGTON: INTELLIGENCE OFFICER With the communist flag

393

00:24:04,900 --> 00:24:09,133 planted in a provincial capital just to the north of Saigon,

394

00:24:09,233 --> 00:24:11,866 to me, the handwriting was on the wall.

395

00:24:11,966 --> 00:24:15,333 I then communicated with my family, and told them

396

00:24:15,433 --> 00:24:18,633 that even though my tour was supposed to take me till August,

397

00:24:18,733 --> 00:24:20,633 that I would be home sooner.

398

00:24:20,733 --> 00:24:25,366 And then I began to quietly, one little box at a time,

399

00:24:25,466 --> 00:24:28,866 mail my possessions out of Vietnam.

400

00:24:28,966 --> 00:24:33,366 ("Kashmir" by Led Zeppelin playing)

401

00:24:33,466 --> 00:24:35,600 NARRATOR: The North Vietnamese now undertook

402

00:24:35,700 --> 00:24:38,766 a new assault on cities in the Central Highlands,

403

00:24:38,866 --> 00:24:41,166 including Ban Me Thuot,

404

00:24:41,266 --> 00:24:44,466 where their forces outnumbered the over-extended ARVN

405

00:24:44,566 --> 00:24:46,633 nearly six to one.

406

00:24:46,733 --> 00:24:50,333 ("Kashmir" continues)

407

00:24:52,733 --> 00:24:57,100 Ban Me Thuot fell in two days.

408

00:24:57,200 --> 00:25:00,900 JAMES WILLBANKS: ARMY And here is the second province to fall,

409

00:25:01,000 --> 00:25:04,566 and it falls fairly quickly.

410

00:25:04,666 --> 00:25:06,133 At that point, they realize,

411

00:25:06,233 --> 00:25:07,633 "Well, we don't have to wait till 1976,

412

00:25:07,733 --> 00:25:08,966 we can go for it now."

413

00:25:09,066 --> 00:25:11,000 NARRATOR: Hanoi was delighted

414

00:25:11,100 --> 00:25:14,166 by the Americans' lack of response.

415

00:25:14,266 --> 00:25:19,400 But all the previous offensives Le Duan had set in motion--

416

00:25:19,500 --> 00:25:21,400 in 1964,

417

00:25:21,500 --> 00:25:24,200 in 1968,

418

00:25:24,300 --> 00:25:26,433 in 1972--


419

00:25:26,533 --> 00:25:30,333 had ended in failure.

420

00:25:30,433 --> 00:25:34,033 This time, he turned to General Vo Nguyen Giap,

421

00:25:34,133 --> 00:25:37,000 the architect of the great victory over the French

422

00:25:37,100 --> 00:25:38,566 at Dien Bien Phu,

423

00:25:38,666 --> 00:25:43,833 who had been sidelined during the Tet Offensive.

424

00:25:44,800 --> 00:25:46,433 HUY DUC: JOURNALIST Le Duan realized he needed a great general who would bring the war to a victorious end. Events at headquarters showed that from then on, General Giap was in complete control of the war.

425

00:26:05,933 --> 00:26:07,633 NARRATOR: For weeks, the ARVN top command

426

00:26:07,733 --> 00:26:10,800 had warned Thieu that his already weakened forces

427

00:26:10,900 --> 00:26:12,700 were spread too thinly;

428

00:26:12,800 --> 00:26:16,866 that it was no longer possible to defend the entire country.

429

00:26:16,966 --> 00:26:19,633 He had angrily resisted.

430

00:26:19,733 --> 00:26:24,100 But now, suddenly, he changed his mind.

431

00:26:24,200 --> 00:26:27,833 Thieu ordered his troops to abandon the highlands,

432

00:26:27,933 --> 00:26:29,700 to withdraw under fire

433

00:26:29,800 --> 00:26:33,533 and then regroup in order to retake Ban Me Thuot.

434

00:26:33,633 --> 00:26:36,133 It would have been a near-impossible task

435

00:26:36,233 --> 00:26:38,866 with a carefully worked-out plan.

436

00:26:38,966 --> 00:26:41,000 Thieu had none.

437

00:26:41,100 --> 00:26:42,700 (gunfire)

438

00:26:45,000 --> 00:26:46,700 (explosion)

439

00:26:46,800 --> 00:26:49,200 The result would be disaster.

440

00:26:50,533 --> 00:26:53,100 PHAM DUY TAT: SOUTH VIETNAMESE ARMY It was a confusing situation. Inappropriate orders were issued, causing chaos. And eventually, everything fell apart.

441

00:27:07,266 --> 00:27:08,733 NARRATOR: Within a week,

442

00:27:08,833 --> 00:27:12,433 Pleiku and Kon Tum were in enemy hands.

443

00:27:13,800 --> 00:27:18,666 BAO NINH: NORTH VIETNAMESE ARMY After 30 years of inconclusive war, suddenly we realized, Saigon was going to lose. Even a regular soldier like me could see that.

444

00:27:29,666 --> 00:27:32,233 REPORTER: According to Western diplomats here in Saigon,

445

00:27:32,333 --> 00:27:34,900 the South Vietnamese are quitting the Central Highlands

446

00:27:35,000 --> 00:27:37,800 because they hope to avoid a complete rout.

447

00:27:37,900 --> 00:27:39,433 The withdrawal is said to be an attempt

448

00:27:39,533 --> 00:27:42,466 to save men and equipment that may become sorely needed

449

00:27:42,566 --> 00:27:45,466 in other, more heavily populated parts of the country.

450

00:27:46,766 --> 00:27:49,966 PHAM DUY TAT: President Thieu issued orders to abandon the civilians and the local forces. When everyone saw our troops withdrawing, and heard the Communists were coming, they panicked and ran. Also, many of our soldiers had their families with them. They had to get out, too.

451

00:28:12,433 --> 00:28:15,466 NARRATOR: As the ARVN fled south,

452

00:28:15,566 --> 00:28:18,866 400,000 civilians fled with them.

453

00:28:25,533 --> 00:28:28,133 The enemy blocked the main roads

454

00:28:28,233 --> 00:28:31,500 so that they had to take a disused back road.

455

00:28:31,600 --> 00:28:33,633 Thousands died,

456

00:28:33,733 --> 00:28:36,200 killed by North Vietnamese shells

457

00:28:36,300 --> 00:28:37,966 and machine gun fire,

458

00:28:38,066 --> 00:28:40,566 trampled by fellow refugees,

459

00:28:40,666 --> 00:28:43,200 run over by retreating tanks,

460

00:28:43,300 --> 00:28:46,533 blown apart by South Vietnamese bombs

461

00:28:46,633 --> 00:28:51,200 dropped by pilots who mistook them for the enemy.

462

00:28:51,300 --> 00:28:55,300 Reporters called it the "Convoy of Tears."

463

00:28:57,400 --> 00:29:01,166 Then, Hue fell. NO HUU LAN: NORTH VIETNAMESE ARMY We went straight toward Hue. We liberated Hue and headed to Danang. The puppet forces scattered and abandoned their uniforms.

464

00:29:15,333 --> 00:29:19,133 NARRATOR: On March 29, 1975,

465

00:29:19,233 --> 00:29:22,233 the North Vietnamese entered Danang,

466

00:29:22,333 --> 00:29:24,600 South Vietnam's second-largest city.

467

00:29:26,833 --> 00:29:30,266 Civilians and soldiers alike tried to flee.

468

00:29:36,633 --> 00:29:39,400 (crowd clamoring)

469

00:29:39,500 --> 00:29:43,700 "Danang was not captured," an American reporter remembered.

470

00:29:43,800 --> 00:29:47,933 "It disintegrated in its own terror."

471

00:29:48,033 --> 00:29:49,800 (plane engine starting)

472

00:29:57,966 --> 00:30:00,566 LE MINH KHUE: NORTH VIETNAMESE ARMY We got to Danang after the city had fallen. I was assigned to a house that had belonged to an ARVN officer. Their suitcases were in the middle of the house. They couldn't take them. I went into a small room. The daughter had been sewing a dress, but couldn't finish it. A neighbor later told me the family escaped on a barge. It was taking them to a ship. But the barge sank. They all died. The entire family. I was scared to be in the house at night. I believed the souls of the dead would return to that house. I was so scared, I asked some friends to stay with me.

MINUTES 30-40

473

00:31:04,733 --> 00:31:07,600 NARRATOR: On the same beach where the U.S. Marines

474

00:31:07,700 --> 00:31:10,233 had landed nearly ten years earlier,

475

00:31:10,333 --> 00:31:13,900 beginning America's combat involvement in Vietnam,

476

00:31:14,000 --> 00:31:18,066 16,000 ARVN soldiers fought for space

477

00:31:18,166 --> 00:31:21,500 with 75,000 terrified civilians

478

00:31:21,600 --> 00:31:25,433 aboard an improvised fleet of freighters and fishing boats

479

00:31:25,533 --> 00:31:30,366 headed south for Cam Ranh Bay, Vung Tau, and Saigon;

480

00:31:30,466 --> 00:31:35,633 anywhere they thought Northern troops might not follow.

481

00:31:41,533 --> 00:31:45,466 Thousands drowned struggling to reach the boats.

482

00:31:45,566 --> 00:31:48,833 Thousands more were killed by enemy shells

483

00:31:48,933 --> 00:31:51,600 raining down on the beach.

484

00:31:52,633 --> 00:31:54,766 HO HUU LAN: NORTH VIETNAMESE ARMY The puppets were on the run. Before, we fought for a whole year using one map. In '75, we changed maps every day. We made more progress in a day than we had in 20 years.

485

00:32:07,933 --> 00:32:10,433 NARRATOR: Danang, Tam Ky,

486

00:32:10,533 --> 00:32:12,800 Quang Ngai, Qui Nhon,

487

00:32:12,900 --> 00:32:16,866 Nha Trang, Cam Ranh Bay.

488

00:32:16,966 --> 00:32:20,233 The North Vietnamese kept moving closer and closer

489

00:32:20,333 --> 00:32:22,033 to Saigon.

490

00:32:22,133 --> 00:32:27,266 JOE GALLOWAY: Journalist It was stunning to sit there in Saigon,

491

00:32:27,366 --> 00:32:29,966 writing the daily ledes

492

00:32:30,066 --> 00:32:33,766 on the fall of all these places.

493

00:32:33,866 --> 00:32:36,866 You just were overwhelmed

494

00:32:36,966 --> 00:32:39,733 with ten years' worth of history

495

00:32:39,833 --> 00:32:43,933 and seeing all of it come unglued.

496

00:32:44,033 --> 00:32:45,233 (explosion)

497

00:32:45,333 --> 00:32:46,900 FRANK SNEPP: CIA At the end of March,

498

00:32:47,000 --> 00:32:50,800 18 North Vietnamese divisions,

499

00:32:50,900 --> 00:32:53,233 with five in reserve,

500

00:32:53,333 --> 00:32:54,500 were now arrayed

501

00:32:54,600 --> 00:32:59,500 against, basically, six South Vietnamese divisions.

502

00:32:59,600 --> 00:33:02,433 The manpower imbalance

503

00:33:02,533 --> 00:33:06,233 was about three or four to one, in favor of the communists.

504

00:33:06,333 --> 00:33:08,366 This was breathtaking.

505

00:33:08,466 --> 00:33:11,200 NARRATOR: The North Vietnamese now decided

506

00:33:11,300 --> 00:33:13,100 to move against Saigon

507

00:33:13,200 --> 00:33:17,966 and take it before Ho Chi Minh's birthday on May 19.

508

00:33:18,066 --> 00:33:20,733 It became clear to Thomas Polgar,

509

00:33:20,833 --> 00:33:23,800 the C.I.A. station chief in Saigon,

510

00:33:23,900 --> 00:33:27,566 that the time had come to begin preparing for an evacuation.

511

00:33:27,666 --> 00:33:31,433 There were still some 5,000 Americans in Saigon,

512

00:33:31,533 --> 00:33:33,266 and there were also as many

513

00:33:33,366 --> 00:33:36,866 as 200,000 South Vietnamese and their families

514

00:33:36,966 --> 00:33:40,633 who had cooperated with the United States.

515

00:33:40,733 --> 00:33:44,566 But Ambassador Graham Martin disagreed.

516

00:33:44,666 --> 00:33:46,966 He was a resolute Cold Warrior,

517

00:33:47,066 --> 00:33:49,266 who had been appointed to reassure Thieu

518

00:33:49,366 --> 00:33:52,000 of continuing American backing,

519

00:33:52,100 --> 00:33:54,700 and his feelings had only been intensified

520

00:33:54,800 --> 00:33:57,500 by the death of his son in Vietnam.

521

00:33:57,600 --> 00:33:59,766 He had not been appointed ambassador,

522

00:33:59,866 --> 00:34:01,500 he had told an aide,

523

00:34:01,600 --> 00:34:05,133 to "give Vietnam away to the communists."

524

00:34:05,233 --> 00:34:08,733 The C.I.A. was being alarmist, he said.

525

00:34:08,833 --> 00:34:11,000 There would be no attack on Saigon,

526

00:34:11,100 --> 00:34:14,333 and, therefore, no evacuation.

527

00:34:14,433 --> 00:34:19,566 President Thieu also continued to insist all was not lost.

528

00:34:19,666 --> 00:34:22,733 The ARVN were ready to "fight on to the last bullet

529

00:34:22,833 --> 00:34:25,633 and the last grain of rice," he said.

530

00:34:27,533 --> 00:34:30,366 Just 40 miles east of Saigon,

531

00:34:30,466 --> 00:34:32,600 North Vietnamese forces attacked

532

00:34:32,699 --> 00:34:35,866 the town of Xuan Loc on Highway One,

533

00:34:35,966 --> 00:34:40,100 the last obstacle on their way to Saigon.

534

00:34:40,199 --> 00:34:42,900 Although they were outnumbered and outgunned,

535

00:34:43,000 --> 00:34:47,133 the South Vietnamese commander refused to retreat.

536

00:34:47,233 --> 00:34:51,900 He was determined to keep the enemy from his capital.

537

00:34:52,000 --> 00:34:54,699 REPORTER: You're certain that you can hold Xuan Loc?

538

00:34:54,800 --> 00:34:56,233 BG LE MINH DAO(?): ARVN Surely, surely.

539

00:34:56,333 --> 00:34:57,966 I am certain to you.

540

00:34:58,066 --> 00:35:00,766 I am sure with you I can hold Xuan Loc.

541

00:35:00,866 --> 00:35:03,900 Even the enemies uses, you know, the double forces

542

00:35:04,000 --> 00:35:06,833 or maybe three time more than my forces.

543

00:35:06,933 --> 00:35:08,166 But no problem, sir.

544

00:35:08,266 --> 00:35:09,700 No problem.

545

00:35:11,066 --> 00:35:13,666 FORD: A vast human tragedy

546

00:35:13,766 --> 00:35:18,466 has befallen our friends in Vietnam and Cambodia.

547

00:35:18,566 --> 00:35:20,166 NARRATOR: On April 10,

548

00:35:20,266 --> 00:35:23,833 President Ford appealed to a joint session of Congress

549

00:35:23,933 --> 00:35:26,633 for emergency aid to Saigon.

550

00:35:26,733 --> 00:35:29,233 If they refused and Saigon fell,

551

00:35:29,333 --> 00:35:32,866 Congress, not the White House, should take the blame.[13]

552

00:35:32,966 --> 00:35:35,633 Under five presidents and 12 Congresses,

553

00:35:35,733 --> 00:35:39,966 the United States was engaged in Indochina.

554

00:35:40,066 --> 00:35:43,533 Millions of Americans served,

555

00:35:43,633 --> 00:35:45,633 thousands died,

556

00:35:45,733 --> 00:35:50,466 and many more were wounded, imprisoned, or lost.

557

00:35:50,566 --> 00:35:54,966 NARRATOR: The President asked Congress for $722 million

558

00:35:55,066 --> 00:35:56,766 in military aid.

559

00:35:56,866 --> 00:35:58,633 There was no applause.

560

00:35:58,733 --> 00:36:02,066 Most legislators, and their constituents,

561

00:36:02,166 --> 00:36:05,233 thought it was too late to make any difference.

562

00:36:05,333 --> 00:36:10,366 In the end, Congress voted against any military aid.

563

00:36:10,466 --> 00:36:13,000 BUI DIEM: SOUTH VIETNAMESE AMBASSADOR I didn't think that it is good

564

00:36:13,100 --> 00:36:17,300 for a big nation like the U.S. to behave like that.

565

00:36:17,400 --> 00:36:19,000 Because by that time,

566

00:36:19,100 --> 00:36:22,866 we didn't ask for the blood of American soldiers.

567

00:36:22,966 --> 00:36:27,300 I mean, the last minute, they washed their hands like that.

568

00:36:27,400 --> 00:36:30,333 It is not up to a diplomat to use strong words

569

00:36:30,433 --> 00:36:31,800 against the American,

570

00:36:31,900 --> 00:36:35,166 but I felt deeply sorry about it.

571

00:36:37,766 --> 00:36:40,600 SNEPP: We broke every rule in the book to get people out,

572

00:36:40,700 --> 00:36:43,666 the young officers did,

573

00:36:43,766 --> 00:36:49,000 while the Ambassador continued to stonewall

574

00:36:49,100 --> 00:36:51,233 both the embassy and Washington.

575

00:36:51,333 --> 00:36:55,200 NARRATOR: Evacuation plans were finally drawn up.

576

00:36:55,300 --> 00:36:58,466 There were four options:

577

00:36:58,566 --> 00:37:03,966 sealift by cargo ships anchored in the port of Saigon,

578

00:37:04,066 --> 00:37:07,333 airlift by commercial airliner,

579

00:37:07,433 --> 00:37:10,166 a military airlift,

580

00:37:10,266 --> 00:37:12,533 and, as a last resort,

581

00:37:12,633 --> 00:37:15,066 evacuation by flights of helicopters

582

00:37:15,166 --> 00:37:18,266 to a flotilla of U.S. Navy ships

583

00:37:18,366 --> 00:37:21,133 in the South China Sea.

584

00:37:21,233 --> 00:37:25,500 Ambassador Martin continued to show little interest.

585

00:37:25,600 --> 00:37:27,466 The slightest sign that the United States

586

00:37:27,566 --> 00:37:30,400 would abandon South Vietnam, he said,

587

00:37:30,500 --> 00:37:34,233 would produce panic in the streets.

588

00:37:34,333 --> 00:37:35,400 (gunfire and explosions)

589

00:37:35,500 --> 00:37:37,200 On April 21,

590

00:37:37,300 --> 00:37:40,766 Xuan Loc finally fell to the North Vietnamese.

591

00:37:40,866 --> 00:37:45,966 The ARVN had valiantly held on for 12 bloody days.

592

00:37:46,066 --> 00:37:51,833 Highway One was now open all the way to Saigon.

593

00:37:51,933 --> 00:37:57,100 That evening, President Thieu resigned.

594

00:37:57,200 --> 00:38:02,233 Four days later, the C.I.A. would spirit Thieu to Taiwan,

595

00:38:02,333 --> 00:38:04,266 where an American emissary brought him

596

00:38:04,366 --> 00:38:07,066 a private message from President Ford.

597

00:38:07,166 --> 00:38:10,966 It was not a good time for him to visit America.[14]

598

00:38:11,066 --> 00:38:14,766 Antiwar feelings were too strong.

599

00:38:14,866 --> 00:38:18,200 "It is so easy to be an enemy of the United States,"

600

00:38:18,300 --> 00:38:19,700 Thieu said,

601

00:38:19,800 --> 00:38:23,400 "but so difficult to be a friend."

602

00:38:23,500 --> 00:38:26,366 News of Thieu's resignation

603

00:38:26,466 --> 00:38:29,333 had sent thousands of panicked Vietnamese

604

00:38:29,433 --> 00:38:31,566 rushing to Tan Son Nhut Airport,

605

00:38:31,666 --> 00:38:34,266 hoping to get out of their country.

606

00:38:34,366 --> 00:38:39,800 Some had exit visas; many did not.

607

00:38:39,900 --> 00:38:44,466 Marines did what they could to establish order.

608

00:38:44,566 --> 00:38:49,000 Master Sergeant Juan Valdez was the noncommissioned officer

609

00:38:49,100 --> 00:38:53,500 in charge of Marine Corps Security Guards in Saigon.

610

00:38:53,600 --> 00:38:55,633 He had been one of the first Marines

611

00:38:55,733 --> 00:38:59,700 to land in Vietnam in 1965.

612

00:38:59,800 --> 00:39:02,833 VALDEZ: MARINE EMBASSY GUARD People were trying to bribe the Marines.

613

00:39:02,933 --> 00:39:06,333 You know, they were bringing money out there, jewelry,

614

00:39:06,433 --> 00:39:08,533 to get them out of the country.

615

00:39:08,633 --> 00:39:10,400 I think just about every Marine that was at the gate

616

00:39:10,500 --> 00:39:12,466 encountered this type of bribes.

617

00:39:12,566 --> 00:39:14,900 But they had to refuse them, yeah, yeah.

618

00:39:15,000 --> 00:39:18,266 NARRATOR: Duong Van Mai Elliott's family

619

00:39:18,366 --> 00:39:21,066 had fled Hanoi in 1954,

620

00:39:21,166 --> 00:39:24,166 leaving behind her older sister, Thang,

621

00:39:24,266 --> 00:39:27,100 who had joined Ho Chi Minh's forces.

622

00:39:27,200 --> 00:39:29,500 Now, 20 years later,

623

00:39:29,600 --> 00:39:32,533 with the North Vietnamese closing in on Saigon,

624

00:39:32,633 --> 00:39:34,400 they were faced with the prospect

625

00:39:34,500 --> 00:39:37,566 of fleeing once again.

626

00:39:37,666 --> 00:39:40,933 DUONG VAN MAI ELLIOTT: My mother didn't want to leave.

627

00:39:41,033 --> 00:39:43,766 She said she didn't want to be a refugee again.

628

00:39:43,866 --> 00:39:46,500 She had been a refugee too many times.

629

00:39:46,600 --> 00:39:49,400 Plus, my sister Thang was about to arrive

630

00:39:49,500 --> 00:39:52,933 and meet us after all these years.

631

00:39:53,033 --> 00:39:57,966 She said she wanted to stay and see Thang.

632

00:39:58,066 --> 00:40:01,433 My father was determined to leave,

633

00:40:01,533 --> 00:40:05,533 because he was afraid that if we stayed, we'd be killed.

634

00:40:05,633 --> 00:40:10,166 He got mad at my mother, and they argued,

635

00:40:10,266 --> 00:40:12,466 but in the end, my mother yielded

636

00:40:12,566 --> 00:40:16,100 to his, uh, insistence that we should... they should leave.

MINUTES 40-50

637

00:40:17,733 --> 00:40:20,166 PHAN QUANG TUE: I knew that the end was approaching.

638

00:40:20,266 --> 00:40:23,366 When you are at the center of the storm,

639

00:40:23,466 --> 00:40:25,533 you have to get out.

640

00:40:25,633 --> 00:40:30,766 When I myself and my immediate family,

641

00:40:30,866 --> 00:40:32,766 and my father and his immediate family,

642

00:40:32,866 --> 00:40:35,400 went to the Tan Son Nhut Airport,

643

00:40:35,500 --> 00:40:39,366 through the whole thing I said, "This is crazy, you know.

644

00:40:39,466 --> 00:40:42,933 Why, why do we have to leave under these conditions?"

645

00:40:43,033 --> 00:40:44,500 It was so humiliating.

646

00:40:44,600 --> 00:40:49,833 And I carry that humiliation with me to the United States.

647

00:40:49,933 --> 00:40:52,633 When I get in line to sign up for a job,

648

00:40:52,733 --> 00:40:54,633 you know, I was a... [15]

649

00:40:54,733 --> 00:40:58,100 I remind them of the war in Vietnam,

650

00:40:58,200 --> 00:41:00,766 which the Americans hate.

651

00:41:00,866 --> 00:41:03,800 You have to lose a nation and a dream

652

00:41:03,900 --> 00:41:07,400 to feel... to feel that humiliation.

653

00:41:15,700 --> 00:41:19,233 NGUYEN THANH TUNG: VIET CONG My parents had nine children, eight sons and me. Four of my brothers were killed in the French War. By the time of our victory, all eight had been killed. I hadn't wanted to get married. But my superiors persuaded me, "if you focus only on fighting, without reproducing, where will our future fighters come from?" Fortunately I did get married and had two sons. When they grew up, they also joined the army. And then, in 1975, when we were on the verge of victory, on February 1st, my two boys were killed.

654

00:42:27,766 --> 00:42:31,000 JEAN-MARIE CROCKER: GOLD STAR MOTHER We have always sent a wreath

655

00:42:31,100 --> 00:42:35,166 to his grave at Arlington.

656

00:42:35,266 --> 00:42:38,233 Partly in remembrance, of course, of him,

657

00:42:38,333 --> 00:42:42,233 but also thinking, if other grieving people are there,

658

00:42:42,333 --> 00:42:46,400 or just people that are visiting to pay their respects,

659

00:42:46,500 --> 00:42:50,733 that it's good for them to know that people are,

660

00:42:50,833 --> 00:42:53,133 that the soldiers are remembered.

661

00:43:07,533 --> 00:43:09,933 FORD: Today...

662

00:43:10,033 --> 00:43:14,000 America can regain the sense of pride

663

00:43:14,100 --> 00:43:16,866 that existed before Vietnam.

664

00:43:16,966 --> 00:43:21,733 But it cannot be achieved by refighting a war

665

00:43:21,833 --> 00:43:25,833 that is finished as far as America is concerned.

666

00:43:25,933 --> 00:43:28,833 (applause)

667

00:43:30,666 --> 00:43:31,666 (explosion)

668

00:43:31,766 --> 00:43:34,966 NARRATOR: On April 27, 1975,

669

00:43:35,066 --> 00:43:38,233 rockets landed in the heart of Saigon.

670

00:43:38,333 --> 00:43:41,433 It was the signal for the North Vietnamese to begin

671

00:43:41,533 --> 00:43:43,833 their main assault on the city.

672

00:43:43,933 --> 00:43:47,300 They attacked from five sides,

673

00:43:47,400 --> 00:43:50,400 "like a hurricane," their commander said.

674

00:43:50,500 --> 00:43:54,066 The White House ordered all American cargo ships

675

00:43:54,166 --> 00:43:56,533 to sail out to sea without waiting

676

00:43:56,633 --> 00:43:58,866 to take on any passengers.

677

00:43:58,966 --> 00:44:02,666 There now could be no organized sealift.

678

00:44:02,766 --> 00:44:07,033 (Jimi Hendrix Experience's "All Along the Watchtower" playing)

679

00:44:14,366 --> 00:44:16,833 NARRATOR: When the communists began shelling

680

00:44:16,933 --> 00:44:21,000 the seaside town of Vung Tau, just southeast of Saigon,

681

00:44:21,100 --> 00:44:22,966 thousands of terrified people

682

00:44:23,066 --> 00:44:25,466 clambered into any vessel they could find

683

00:44:25,566 --> 00:44:28,400 in hope of rescue by the Americans.

684

00:44:28,500 --> 00:44:31,000 Before the exodus ended,

685

00:44:31,100 --> 00:44:34,133 more than 60,000 refugees from Vung Tau

686

00:44:34,233 --> 00:44:35,866 would be picked up.

687

00:44:35,966 --> 00:44:39,166 But thousands more were left behind,

688

00:44:39,266 --> 00:44:42,933 floating helplessly at sea.

689

00:44:43,033 --> 00:44:44,966 At the American Embassy,

690

00:44:45,066 --> 00:44:48,033 Ambassador Martin cabled Henry Kissinger,

691

00:44:48,133 --> 00:44:49,700 now Secretary of State,

692

00:44:49,800 --> 00:44:52,000 that "It is the unanimous opinion

693

00:44:52,100 --> 00:44:53,966 "of the senior personnel here

694

00:44:54,066 --> 00:44:59,066 that there will be no direct or serious attack on Saigon."

695

00:44:59,166 --> 00:45:01,333 SNEPP: A lot of us began to wonder

696

00:45:01,433 --> 00:45:04,500 whether he had lost grip on reality.

697

00:45:04,600 --> 00:45:09,400 He had come down with pneumonia in the final days.

698

00:45:09,500 --> 00:45:11,866 He was terribly enfeebled.

699

00:45:11,966 --> 00:45:14,933 And it's possible this affected his judgment.

700

00:45:15,033 --> 00:45:19,000 NARRATOR: Evacuation planners had quietly designated

701

00:45:19,100 --> 00:45:20,866 two spots within the embassy

702

00:45:20,966 --> 00:45:23,533 as potential helicopter landing zones--

703

00:45:23,633 --> 00:45:26,833 a courtyard that could accommodate large choppers,

704

00:45:26,933 --> 00:45:29,233 and the helipad on the embassy roof,

705

00:45:29,333 --> 00:45:31,800 meant for smaller ones.

706

00:45:31,900 --> 00:45:36,166 An old tamarind tree stood in the center of the courtyard.

707

00:45:36,266 --> 00:45:39,733 Again and again, the Marines asked Ambassador Martin

708

00:45:39,833 --> 00:45:41,800 for permission to cut it down

709

00:45:41,900 --> 00:45:45,066 so as not to interfere with the lift-offs and landings

710

00:45:45,166 --> 00:45:48,133 they were certain would soon have to begin.

711

00:45:48,233 --> 00:45:50,966 He always refused.

712

00:45:51,066 --> 00:45:54,633 That tree was a symbol of American resolve, he said.

713

00:45:54,733 --> 00:45:58,666 Cutting it down would send the wrong message.

714

00:45:58,766 --> 00:46:01,633 Meanwhile, General Duong Van Minh,[16]

715

00:46:01,733 --> 00:46:03,300 who had been part of the coup

716

00:46:03,400 --> 00:46:07,000 that overthrew President Diem 12 years earlier,

717

00:46:07,100 --> 00:46:10,800 was sworn in as the new President of South Vietnam.

718

00:46:10,900 --> 00:46:13,700 He called for an immediate cease-fire

719

00:46:13,800 --> 00:46:19,766 and asked that Americans leave within 24 hours.

720

00:46:19,866 --> 00:46:21,066 (explosion)

721

00:46:21,166 --> 00:46:24,166 NARRATOR: On April 29, at 3:58 in the morning,

722

00:46:24,266 --> 00:46:27,000 North Vietnamese rockets began falling

723

00:46:27,100 --> 00:46:29,300 on Tan Son Nhut Airport.

724

00:46:29,400 --> 00:46:31,633 PHILIP CAPUTO: JOURNALIST The North Vietnamese were just...

725

00:46:31,733 --> 00:46:33,300 walking these shells...

726

00:46:33,400 --> 00:46:35,566 these big 130-millimeter artillery shells

727

00:46:35,666 --> 00:46:37,133 all over the airfield,

728

00:46:37,233 --> 00:46:39,000 destroying the runway, basically.

729

00:46:39,100 --> 00:46:40,366 It was close enough

730

00:46:40,466 --> 00:46:42,000 that you could hear the incoming go overhead.

731

00:46:42,100 --> 00:46:43,166 (whistling, explosion)

732

00:46:43,266 --> 00:46:45,466 NARRATOR: Two Marine guards,

733

00:46:45,566 --> 00:46:49,366 Lance Corporal Darwin Judge, of Marshalltown, Iowa,

734

00:46:49,466 --> 00:46:53,666 and Corporal Charles McMahon, Jr., of Woburn, Massachusetts,

735

00:46:53,766 --> 00:46:55,900 were killed in the barrage--

736

00:46:56,000 --> 00:47:00,300 the last American servicemen to die in Vietnam.

737

00:47:00,400 --> 00:47:03,400 ♪ All along the watchtower...

738

00:47:03,500 --> 00:47:05,600 VALDEZ: I still blame the Ambassador.

739

00:47:05,700 --> 00:47:06,933 This shouldn't have happened.

740

00:47:07,033 --> 00:47:09,100 You know, if the Ambassador had taken action

741

00:47:09,200 --> 00:47:12,366 and gotten people out of there, which he was supposed to,

742

00:47:12,466 --> 00:47:15,433 this would have never happened.

743

00:47:15,533 --> 00:47:17,933 NARRATOR: The runways were cratered

744

00:47:18,033 --> 00:47:19,733 and blocked by wrecked planes,

745

00:47:19,833 --> 00:47:23,966 littered with jettisoned bombs and fuel tanks.

746

00:47:24,066 --> 00:47:28,633 The Americans had run out of evacuation options.

747

00:47:28,733 --> 00:47:31,666 It was time to call in the helicopters

748

00:47:31,766 --> 00:47:34,066 from the offshore fleet.

749

00:47:34,166 --> 00:47:35,433 There was no way

750

00:47:35,533 --> 00:47:37,533 all of the remaining South Vietnamese

751

00:47:37,633 --> 00:47:39,833 could be evacuated.

752

00:47:41,633 --> 00:47:43,733 (chain saws buzzing)

753

00:47:43,833 --> 00:47:46,500 The tamarind tree in the embassy compound

754

00:47:46,600 --> 00:47:48,466 was finally hacked down

755

00:47:48,566 --> 00:47:51,466 so helicopters could begin landing.

756

00:47:51,566 --> 00:47:54,700 VALDEZ: So they had to chop this big tamarind tree down,

757

00:47:54,800 --> 00:47:57,200 cut it in pieces, tow it away.

758

00:47:57,300 --> 00:47:59,200 And then they had to get the fire department

759

00:47:59,300 --> 00:48:01,966 to wash all the debris and everything

760

00:48:02,066 --> 00:48:03,366 so when the choppers land,

761

00:48:03,466 --> 00:48:05,066 they wouldn't suck up all those debris

762

00:48:05,166 --> 00:48:07,600 into the, uh, into the engines.

763

00:48:07,700 --> 00:48:10,500 NARRATOR: Just after 11:00 a.m.,

764

00:48:10,600 --> 00:48:13,233 a prearranged signal to evacuate was broadcast

765

00:48:13,333 --> 00:48:17,233 over a special radio frequency in the capital:

766

00:48:17,333 --> 00:48:21,966 "The temperature in Saigon is 105 degrees and rising."

767

00:48:22,066 --> 00:48:23,600 ("White Christmas" by Tennessee Ernie Ford playing)

768

00:48:23,700 --> 00:48:25,433 ♪ I'm dreaming...

769

00:48:25,533 --> 00:48:27,933 NARRATOR: It was supposed to be followed by Bing Crosby

770

00:48:28,033 --> 00:48:30,166 singing "White Christmas."

771

00:48:30,266 --> 00:48:32,833 But the disc jockey couldn't find the record

772

00:48:32,933 --> 00:48:38,066 and played Tennessee Ernie Ford's version instead.

773

00:48:38,166 --> 00:48:42,033 Americans and Vietnamese with proper papers

774

00:48:42,133 --> 00:48:44,866 gathered at pre-arranged collection points

775

00:48:44,966 --> 00:48:47,466 and boarded convoys of buses.

776

00:48:47,566 --> 00:48:51,400 Angry South Vietnamese beat on the sides of the vehicles

777

00:48:51,500 --> 00:48:53,866 as they moved through the crowded streets

778

00:48:53,966 --> 00:48:56,000 to the airport.

779

00:48:56,100 --> 00:49:00,533 Philip Caputo, now covering the fall of Saigon,

780

00:49:00,633 --> 00:49:03,366 was among the evacuees.

781

00:49:03,466 --> 00:49:06,533 PHILIP CAPUTO: We were evacuated from Tan Son Nhut Air Base.

782

00:49:06,633 --> 00:49:10,600 But we drove past the embassy, and you just saw this scrum,

783

00:49:10,700 --> 00:49:15,466 this horde of people pressing up against the walls,

784

00:49:15,566 --> 00:49:18,400 and Marines standing on the wall

785

00:49:18,500 --> 00:49:23,766 and gun-butting people to, uh, to keep them...

786

00:49:23,866 --> 00:49:26,200 to keep them from pouring over the walls.

787

00:49:26,300 --> 00:49:29,166 NARRATOR: The evacuees at the airport were divided

788

00:49:29,266 --> 00:49:32,100 into helicopter teams of 50 each,

789

00:49:32,200 --> 00:49:35,333 and led down a long hallway to the tarmac.

790

00:49:35,433 --> 00:49:37,833 Someone in Caputo's group joked

791

00:49:37,933 --> 00:49:43,000 about finally seeing "light at the end of the tunnel."

792

00:49:43,100 --> 00:49:45,066 PHILIP CAPUTO: The choppers take off.

793

00:49:45,166 --> 00:49:48,633 And they're flying, uh... flying toward the coast.

794

00:49:48,733 --> 00:49:52,266 And you could look down and all you could see,

795

00:49:52,366 --> 00:49:54,533 all around Saigon, all around the airfield,

796

00:49:54,633 --> 00:49:58,100 were just these plumes of smoke from burning buildings,

797

00:49:58,200 --> 00:50:00,533 from exploding artillery shells.

798

00:50:00,633 --> 00:50:03,433 And I'll never forget going over that coastline,

799

00:50:03,533 --> 00:50:07,466 seeing the entire 7th Fleet-- dozens and dozens--

800

00:50:07,566 --> 00:50:10,566 and this enormous fleet out there like that.[17]

801

00:50:10,666 --> 00:50:15,533 And I just remember this sense of, of disbelief, completely.

802

00:50:15,633 --> 00:50:18,700 Disbelief and relief at the same time.

MINUTES 50-60

803

00:50:21,800 --> 00:50:23,966 VALDEZ: There were anywhere from 10,000 to 12,000 people

804

00:50:24,066 --> 00:50:26,300 surrounding the embassy.

805

00:50:26,400 --> 00:50:29,700 We're supposed to get Americans out of there.

806

00:50:29,800 --> 00:50:32,033 And we were supposed to get South Vietnamese

807

00:50:32,133 --> 00:50:34,900 that worked for us in the embassy.

808

00:50:35,000 --> 00:50:37,233 The C.I.A. was behind us,

809

00:50:37,333 --> 00:50:38,533 and they were pointing at the people

810

00:50:38,633 --> 00:50:40,466 who were supposed to get out.

811

00:50:40,566 --> 00:50:43,266 But every time you reached out to grab a specific individual,

812

00:50:43,366 --> 00:50:45,133 other people were grabbing your hands

813

00:50:45,233 --> 00:50:47,200 and trying to pull you down with them, you know,

814

00:50:47,300 --> 00:50:48,700 so that you could help them out.

815

00:50:48,800 --> 00:50:52,366 SNEPP: Some Americans had left so rapidly,

816

00:50:52,466 --> 00:50:55,033 they'd left the radios behind.

817

00:50:55,133 --> 00:50:59,166 So their Vietnamese friends were on the radios

818

00:50:59,266 --> 00:51:01,033 begging to be rescued.

819

00:51:01,133 --> 00:51:03,400 "I'm Han, the driver."

820

00:51:03,500 --> 00:51:06,633 "I'm Mr. Ngoc, your translator."

821

00:51:06,733 --> 00:51:11,466 I realized what the Americans had often done in Vietnam.

822

00:51:11,566 --> 00:51:16,500 They had forgotten that these were human beings.

823

00:51:18,633 --> 00:51:20,933 My experience in Vietnam

824

00:51:21,033 --> 00:51:27,166 had often been like a B-52 strike from on high.

825

00:51:27,266 --> 00:51:31,100 I never had to confront the consequences of my action.

826

00:51:31,200 --> 00:51:34,333 I could just let the bomb doors open

827

00:51:34,433 --> 00:51:38,666 and still remain detached.

828

00:51:38,766 --> 00:51:41,000 NARRATOR: Elsewhere in the embassy,

829

00:51:41,100 --> 00:51:45,166 Marines frantically destroyed classified documents.

830

00:51:45,266 --> 00:51:48,266 VALDEZ: The top of the roof had two big incinerators

831

00:51:48,366 --> 00:51:50,800 right underneath the helicopter pad.

832

00:51:50,900 --> 00:51:53,366 And the Marines burned classified material

833

00:51:53,466 --> 00:51:55,433 around the clock.

834

00:51:55,533 --> 00:51:57,600 But to my understanding, even when we left,

835

00:51:57,700 --> 00:52:01,333 there was still classified material left behind.

836

00:52:01,433 --> 00:52:05,000 SNEPP: Well, when the choppers finally began coming in,

837

00:52:05,100 --> 00:52:07,833 the downdraft ripped open those bags

838

00:52:07,933 --> 00:52:10,233 and there was classified material

839

00:52:10,333 --> 00:52:13,600 all over the parking lot.

840

00:52:13,700 --> 00:52:15,533 When the North Vietnamese arrived,

841

00:52:15,633 --> 00:52:21,333 they apparently Scotch-taped that material back together

842

00:52:21,433 --> 00:52:23,600 and it became a blood list that they could use

843

00:52:23,700 --> 00:52:26,933 to track down people, Vietnamese, who'd worked for us.

844

00:52:27,033 --> 00:52:30,800 NARRATOR: Embassy officials dumped bags of currency

845

00:52:30,900 --> 00:52:32,266 into an oil drum

846

00:52:32,366 --> 00:52:34,033 and set it afire.

847

00:52:34,133 --> 00:52:36,800 Millions of dollars in contingency funds

848

00:52:36,900 --> 00:52:39,000 went up in smoke.

849

00:52:39,100 --> 00:52:42,733 "This will be the final message from Saigon station,"

850

00:52:42,833 --> 00:52:46,900 the C.I.A. chief Thomas Polgar wired to Washington.

851

00:52:47,000 --> 00:52:51,833 "It has been a long fight and we have lost.

852

00:52:51,933 --> 00:52:54,766 "Those who fail to learn from history

853

00:52:54,866 --> 00:52:56,833 "are forced to repeat it.

854

00:52:56,933 --> 00:53:01,166 "Let us hope that we will not have another Vietnam experience

855

00:53:01,266 --> 00:53:03,933 "and that we have learned our lesson.

856

00:53:04,033 --> 00:53:07,366 Saigon signing off."

857

00:53:10,933 --> 00:53:13,633 More than 50 U.S. helicopters

858

00:53:13,733 --> 00:53:16,800 now crisscrossed the sky over Saigon,

859

00:53:16,900 --> 00:53:20,333 picking up evacuees from designated rooftops,

860

00:53:20,433 --> 00:53:22,666 as well as the embassy,

861

00:53:22,766 --> 00:53:26,000 ferrying them to the fleet far out at sea,

862

00:53:26,100 --> 00:53:27,900 then returning for more.

863

00:53:29,633 --> 00:53:32,366 Some desperate South Vietnamese officers

864

00:53:32,466 --> 00:53:34,300 also commandeered helicopters

865

00:53:34,400 --> 00:53:36,666 for themselves and their families,

866

00:53:36,766 --> 00:53:38,700 dangerously crowding the decks

867

00:53:38,800 --> 00:53:41,300 of the American aircraft carriers.

868

00:53:41,400 --> 00:53:44,233 There was no room for them.

869

00:53:44,333 --> 00:53:46,933 WILLBANKS: The image that remains in my mind

870

00:53:47,033 --> 00:53:48,966 is the picture of the helicopter

871

00:53:49,066 --> 00:53:51,800 being pushed over the side of the carrier.

872

00:53:51,900 --> 00:53:55,033 The helicopter was everything in Vietnam.

873

00:53:55,133 --> 00:53:57,933 I mean, it was dust-off, it was resupply,

874

00:53:58,033 --> 00:54:00,366 it was fire support, it was everything.

875

00:54:00,466 --> 00:54:05,500 All I could think of was: what a waste, what a waste.

876

00:54:05,600 --> 00:54:08,033 As I watched that all unfold,

877

00:54:08,133 --> 00:54:12,133 I, I felt responsible.

878

00:54:12,233 --> 00:54:13,366 I was ashamed.

879

00:54:13,466 --> 00:54:15,433 We had told these people

880

00:54:15,533 --> 00:54:17,700 that we would be there to support them

881

00:54:17,800 --> 00:54:19,300 and we were not.

882

00:54:24,400 --> 00:54:28,166 SNEPP: About 9:15 on the last night,

883

00:54:28,266 --> 00:54:31,400 Polgar came and he said, "We've got to all leave.

884

00:54:31,500 --> 00:54:33,033 "We've been ordered by headquarters to leave.

885

00:54:33,133 --> 00:54:34,733 Let's go."

886

00:54:34,833 --> 00:54:38,933 NARRATOR: Ambassador Martin had wanted to be the last man to leave.

887

00:54:39,033 --> 00:54:42,733 But at about 4:00 in the morning of April 30,

888

00:54:42,833 --> 00:54:47,100 a CH-46 touched down on the embassy roof.

889

00:54:47,200 --> 00:54:51,133 Its pilot carried orders from the President himself.

890

00:54:51,233 --> 00:54:55,033 Martin was to leave, now.

891

00:54:55,133 --> 00:54:57,533 "I guess this is it," he said.

892

00:54:57,633 --> 00:54:59,700 As Martin was helped aboard,

893

00:54:59,800 --> 00:55:02,366 he was handed the furled American flag

894

00:55:02,466 --> 00:55:06,633 that had flown from the flagstaff the previous day.

895

00:55:06,733 --> 00:55:12,633 He lifted off at 4:58 a.m. and headed out to sea.

896

00:55:12,733 --> 00:55:16,700 President Ford had also ordered that from then on,

897

00:55:16,800 --> 00:55:21,100 only Americans would be evacuated.

898

00:55:21,200 --> 00:55:25,000 Tens of thousands of South Vietnamese

899

00:55:25,100 --> 00:55:26,966 would be left behind,

900

00:55:27,066 --> 00:55:29,700 and more than 400 were still waiting

901

00:55:29,800 --> 00:55:31,400 in the embassy courtyard.

902

00:55:31,500 --> 00:55:34,133 Time and again, they had been assured

903

00:55:34,233 --> 00:55:38,100 helicopters were on the way to pick them up.

904

00:55:38,200 --> 00:55:40,766 HERRINGTON: I was directed

905

00:55:40,866 --> 00:55:44,066 to stay with the Vietnamese and keep them warm,

906

00:55:44,166 --> 00:55:46,766 meaning, "Don't give any hint

907

00:55:46,866 --> 00:55:52,433 that all these promises we made to them are for naught."

908

00:55:52,533 --> 00:55:54,633 I felt sick at heart, I had a hard time.

909

00:55:54,733 --> 00:55:56,600 It was dark out, so I didn't have to worry

910

00:55:56,700 --> 00:55:59,733 about looking these folks in the eye.

911

00:55:59,833 --> 00:56:02,866 But I made my excuse and, um, (speaks Vietnamese)--

912

00:56:02,966 --> 00:56:04,833 "I have to go to the bathroom."

913

00:56:04,933 --> 00:56:08,200 And left into the landscaping,

914

00:56:08,300 --> 00:56:11,100 circuitous route to the back door of the embassy,

915

00:56:11,200 --> 00:56:12,833 to the chancery building,

916

00:56:12,933 --> 00:56:15,233 and made my way to the roof.

917

00:56:15,333 --> 00:56:20,100 NARRATOR: Some 129 Marines remained in the compound.

918

00:56:20,200 --> 00:56:21,400 They did their best

919

00:56:21,500 --> 00:56:24,833 to pull back into the embassy and up onto the roof

920

00:56:24,933 --> 00:56:26,400 without alerting the Vietnamese

921

00:56:26,500 --> 00:56:29,566 that they were about to be left behind.

922

00:56:29,666 --> 00:56:32,700 VALDEZ: We locked ourselves inside the embassy

923

00:56:32,800 --> 00:56:36,100 and found ourselves up on the roof.

924

00:56:36,200 --> 00:56:38,566 It was actually after we got up on top of the roof

925

00:56:38,666 --> 00:56:40,533 that we started seeing all these masses of people.

926

00:56:40,633 --> 00:56:43,000 Some of them had already come on the embassy compound.

927

00:56:43,100 --> 00:56:44,600 And they broke those doors.

928

00:56:44,700 --> 00:56:47,500 And that's how those, uh, South Vietnamese

929

00:56:47,600 --> 00:56:51,033 were able to get inside the embassy.

930

00:56:53,366 --> 00:56:57,966 RON NESSEN: WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: This action closes a chapter in the American experience.

931

00:56:58,066 --> 00:57:02,533 The president asks all Americans to close ranks,

932

00:57:02,633 --> 00:57:06,833 to avoid recriminations about the past,

933

00:57:06,933 --> 00:57:09,766 and to work together on the great tasks

934

00:57:09,866 --> 00:57:12,866 that remain to be accomplished.

935

00:57:12,966 --> 00:57:17,366 Now, to, uh, give you details of the events of the past few days

936

00:57:17,466 --> 00:57:19,233 and to answer your questions,

937

00:57:19,333 --> 00:57:20,700 Secretary of State Kissinger.

938

00:57:20,800 --> 00:57:22,033 REPORTER: Mr. Secretary, are you confident

939

00:57:22,133 --> 00:57:24,333 that all the Americans that wanted to come out

940

00:57:24,433 --> 00:57:26,133 are out of Saigon,

941

00:57:26,233 --> 00:57:27,733 and do you have any idea

942

00:57:27,833 --> 00:57:29,533 of the number of Americans who remain behind?

943

00:57:29,633 --> 00:57:32,266 HENRY KISSINGER: I have no idea of the number of Americans

944

00:57:32,366 --> 00:57:33,933 that remain behind.

945

00:57:34,033 --> 00:57:37,466 Uh, I am confident that every American

946

00:57:37,566 --> 00:57:38,833 who wanted to come out,

947

00:57:38,933 --> 00:57:42,033 uh, is, is out.

948

00:57:42,133 --> 00:57:45,033 What we need now in this country

949

00:57:45,133 --> 00:57:49,133 is to heal the wounds and to put Vietnam behind us.

950

00:57:50,833 --> 00:57:53,900 NARRATOR: An aide handed Kissinger a note.

951

00:57:54,000 --> 00:57:56,933 It said that the 129 Marines

952

00:57:57,033 --> 00:58:01,200 had somehow been left behind on the embassy roof.

953

00:58:01,300 --> 00:58:04,666 Helicopters were dispatched to pick them up.

954

00:58:04,766 --> 00:58:07,666 Eventually, only Sergeant Valdez

955

00:58:07,766 --> 00:58:12,466 and his ten-man embassy security unit remained.

956

00:58:12,566 --> 00:58:15,033 But then, an hour went by

957

00:58:15,133 --> 00:58:17,633 with no sign of any more helicopters.

958

00:58:17,733 --> 00:58:20,200 Their radio was dead.

959

00:58:20,300 --> 00:58:23,400 The Marines had no way to contact the fleet

960

00:58:23,500 --> 00:58:26,833 to see if anyone was on the way.

961

00:58:26,933 --> 00:58:28,633 VALDEZ: Everything stopped.

962

00:58:28,733 --> 00:58:30,433 We're being left behind.

963

00:58:30,533 --> 00:58:33,333 People are sitting around in their own little thoughts,

964

00:58:33,433 --> 00:58:36,133 uh, not doing too much talking.

965

00:58:36,233 --> 00:58:39,233 We pretty much decided that we were going to fight it out,

966

00:58:39,333 --> 00:58:40,666 use these small arms that we had

967

00:58:40,766 --> 00:58:43,100 and just fight it to the end.

968

00:58:43,200 --> 00:58:47,966 We started seeing two puffs of smoke coming from out at sea.

969

00:58:48,066 --> 00:58:51,200 As they got closer, then we were able to determine

970

00:58:51,300 --> 00:58:52,933 that they were helicopters.

971

00:58:53,033 --> 00:58:55,200 It was a relief.

972

00:58:55,300 --> 00:58:57,600 One of the Marines, I believe it was Staff Sergeant Sullivan,

973

00:58:57,700 --> 00:58:58,766 my assistant,

974

00:58:58,866 --> 00:59:00,466 grabbed me and started pulling me in

975

00:59:00,566 --> 00:59:02,033 as the ramp's going up.

976

00:59:02,133 --> 00:59:08,600 NARRATOR: At 7:53 a.m., April 30, 1975,

977

00:59:08,700 --> 00:59:13,000 the last helicopter lifted off the embassy roof.

978

00:59:13,100 --> 00:59:15,633 Master Sergeant Juan Valdez

979

00:59:15,733 --> 00:59:20,366 was the last American to climb aboard.

980

00:59:20,466 --> 00:59:22,866 (sirens wailing)

981

00:59:22,966 --> 00:59:25,266 The government of South Vietnam

982

00:59:25,366 --> 00:59:27,900 had less than five hours to live.

983

00:59:32,166 --> 00:59:37,066 President Minh spoke from the palace at mid-morning.

984

00:59:37,166 --> 00:59:40,866 He urged what was left of the South Vietnamese Army

985

00:59:40,966 --> 00:59:42,700 to stop fighting.

986

00:59:42,800 --> 00:59:47,366 "We are here waiting," he said, "to hand over the authority

987

00:59:47,466 --> 00:59:51,633 in order to stop useless bloodshed."

BAO NINH: NORTH VIETNAMESE ARMY: If Minh hadn't ordered the surrender, it would have been horrific. We all would have died. My friends who served in the ARVN curse President Minh. They hate him because he ordered them to surrender, letting the Communists win. My friends in America still curse Minh. But they forget if he hadn't given that order, they wouldn't have survived and gone to the USA and become American citizens. They would have died with me in Saigon.[18]

PHAM DUY TAT: SOUTH VIETNAMESE ARMY: When President Minh declared the surrender, I still had my personal command helicopter. I still had a pilot. Ultimately, I decided not to flee. I had to accept what would happen. Everybody was talking about a bloodbath. As a Catholic, I couldn't commit suicide as so many others did. So I accepted my fate.

MINUTES 60-70

988

01:01:13,000 --> 01:01:14,833 NARRATOR: At noon,

989

01:01:14,933 --> 01:01:18,766 North Vietnamese tanks flying Viet Cong flags

990

01:01:18,866 --> 01:01:20,666 smashed their way through the gates

991

01:01:20,766 --> 01:01:22,700 of the presidential palace.

992

01:01:24,966 --> 01:01:28,033 Within hours, victorious soldiers

993

01:01:28,133 --> 01:01:31,933 were calling Saigon "Ho Chi Minh City."

994

01:01:34,833 --> 01:01:39,266 All over town, ARVN soldiers tore off their uniforms

995

01:01:39,366 --> 01:01:43,033 and did their best to melt into the crowds.

996

01:01:43,133 --> 01:01:45,300 Families burned their photo albums

997

01:01:45,400 --> 01:01:47,166 so there would be no evidence

998

01:01:47,266 --> 01:01:52,166 that their sons or husbands had ever fought for South Vietnam.

999

01:01:54,466 --> 01:01:58,600 Colonel Tran Ngoc Toan had been fighting the communists

1000

01:01:58,700 --> 01:02:00,700 for more than 12 years,

1001

01:02:00,800 --> 01:02:02,666 and had survived terrible wounds

1002

01:02:02,766 --> 01:02:05,433 suffered at the Battle of Binh Gia.

1003

01:02:05,533 --> 01:02:07,833 He was leading what was left

1004

01:02:07,933 --> 01:02:11,100 of the 4th South Vietnamese Marine Battalion

1005

01:02:11,200 --> 01:02:16,200 near Bien Hoa, 20 miles east of Saigon.

1006

01:02:16,300 --> 01:02:19,000 His commanding general had long since

1007

01:02:19,100 --> 01:02:23,366 bribed his way aboard a ship and fled the country.

1008

01:02:23,466 --> 01:02:28,166 An American friend had urged Toan to get out, too.

1009

01:02:28,266 --> 01:02:30,166 He refused.

TRAN NGOC TOAN: SOUTH VIETNAMESE MARINES But I said no. I can't desert my country. I try to walk back to Saigon to my family. I want to die. By that time I want to die right away. I don't want to live anymore. But I think of my family still there, my children, just about nine years old, and four years old. So, I think of them, and I keep walking back to my family.

1010

01:03:12,900 --> 01:03:15,866 NARRATOR: A South Vietnamese police officer

1011

01:03:15,966 --> 01:03:18,066 walked to a memorial built to honor

1012

01:03:18,166 --> 01:03:21,600 those who had fallen defending South Vietnam.

1013

01:03:21,700 --> 01:03:24,733 He saluted it, stood there for a time,

1014

01:03:24,833 --> 01:03:28,333 and then shot himself in the head.

1015

01:03:28,433 --> 01:03:31,700 DUONG VAN MAI ELLIOTT: It was a very messy ending

1016

01:03:31,800 --> 01:03:34,633 to a very messy war.

1017

01:03:34,733 --> 01:03:37,066 I felt a sense of relief,

1018

01:03:37,166 --> 01:03:40,966 but also a sense of sadness when it ended.

1019

01:03:41,066 --> 01:03:45,933 I felt relief that the killing, destruction,

1020

01:03:46,033 --> 01:03:48,200 finally came to an end,

1021

01:03:48,300 --> 01:03:50,400 and I didn't care which side won.

1022

01:03:50,500 --> 01:03:52,866 To me, Vietnam won.

1023

01:03:52,966 --> 01:03:54,833 Vietnamese people won

1024

01:03:54,933 --> 01:03:58,166 because they finally could live normally.

1025

01:03:58,266 --> 01:04:03,800 And sad because I saw that my family was again fleeing,

1026

01:04:03,900 --> 01:04:05,866 and this time from their homeland,

1027

01:04:05,966 --> 01:04:09,333 and their future was very uncertain.

1028

01:04:09,433 --> 01:04:12,466 And I knew that with the communists taking over,

1029

01:04:12,566 --> 01:04:16,966 Vietnamese society would be changed drastically.

1030

01:04:17,066 --> 01:04:19,566 NARRATOR: Lo Khac Tam had been fighting

1031

01:04:19,666 --> 01:04:23,300 in the North Vietnamese Army for nearly ten years now,

1032

01:04:23,400 --> 01:04:26,700 beginning with the bloody clash in the Ia Drang Valley,

1033

01:04:26,800 --> 01:04:30,900 the first full-scale battle of the American war.

1034

01:04:31,000 --> 01:04:35,433 Now he was watching that war's end.

1035

01:04:36,633 --> 01:04:38,466 LO KHAC TAM: NORTH VIETNAMESE ARMY I couldn't go out into the streets. I remembered my fallen comrades. I had survived, but I cried over their loss. Whenever I hear the song, "You have gone, three times gone and never returned," I can't hold back my tears because I love my fallen brothers.

1036

01:05:09,066 --> 01:05:12,566 WALTER CRONKITE: In Vietnam, we finally have reached the end of the tunnel,

1037

01:05:12,666 --> 01:05:14,900 and there is no light there.

1038

01:05:15,000 --> 01:05:18,500 What is there, perhaps, was best said by President Ford,

1039

01:05:18,600 --> 01:05:20,933 "a war that is finished."

1040

01:05:21,033 --> 01:05:24,566 LEWIS SORLEY: ARMY I happened to be at a conference

1041

01:05:24,666 --> 01:05:26,033 at Tufts University,

1042

01:05:26,133 --> 01:05:28,733 and the dean there was a former ambassador

1043

01:05:28,833 --> 01:05:30,700 who spoke to us late on that day,

1044

01:05:30,800 --> 01:05:33,100 as it turned out, the fateful day.

1045

01:05:33,200 --> 01:05:36,433 And he said he had just come back from Washington,

1046

01:05:36,533 --> 01:05:40,166 where the spring weather was beautiful

1047

01:05:40,266 --> 01:05:42,866 and the daffodils were in bloom,

1048

01:05:42,966 --> 01:05:49,266 to Boston, where it was gloomy and gray as it was in his heart.

1049

01:05:51,166 --> 01:05:54,300 And people hissed him and booed him.

1050

01:05:54,400 --> 01:05:57,700 I was there in uniform.

1051

01:05:57,800 --> 01:06:00,066 One of my great regrets was that I did not get up

1052

01:06:00,166 --> 01:06:02,100 and start laying waste to those people

1053

01:06:02,200 --> 01:06:03,500 who disrespected the ambassador

1054

01:06:03,600 --> 01:06:06,566 and his sorrow at the fall of South Vietnam.

1055

01:06:06,666 --> 01:06:09,066 MUSGRAVE: I got a call from the V.V.A.W. national office

1056

01:06:09,166 --> 01:06:11,733 from some friends of mine from the old days.

1057

01:06:11,833 --> 01:06:13,833 They were having a big celebration,

1058

01:06:13,933 --> 01:06:16,966 drinking booze and, "Ah, well, it's a great day, isn't it?"

1059

01:06:17,066 --> 01:06:20,000 And I said, "Are you nuts?"

1060

01:06:20,100 --> 01:06:23,000 I said, "No, it's not a great day."

1061

01:06:23,100 --> 01:06:26,000 To see America leaving like that,

1062

01:06:26,100 --> 01:06:30,766 after we'd given almost 60,000 of our sons and daughters,

1063

01:06:30,866 --> 01:06:34,366 that wasn't something to celebrate.

1064

01:06:34,466 --> 01:06:36,333 I knew we were abandoning

1065

01:06:36,433 --> 01:06:39,900 millions of South Vietnamese that had trusted us,

1066

01:06:40,000 --> 01:06:42,800 thrown in their lot with us.

1067

01:06:42,900 --> 01:06:46,033 That wasn't anything to celebrate.

1068

01:06:46,133 --> 01:06:48,500 I thought it was just one of the saddest moments

1069

01:06:48,600 --> 01:06:52,233 I'd ever seen in American history.

1070

01:06:52,333 --> 01:06:54,366 DAVID BRINKLEY NBC NEWS So when some future politician, for some reason,

1071

01:06:54,466 --> 01:06:58,466 feels the need to drag this country into a war,

1072

01:06:58,566 --> 01:07:00,366 he might come out here to Arlington,

1073

01:07:00,466 --> 01:07:02,566 and stand maybe right over there somewhere,

1074

01:07:02,666 --> 01:07:06,533 to make his announcement and to tell what he has in mind.

1075

01:07:11,333 --> 01:07:16,200 BAO NINH: The Vietnam War lasted 30 years, from 1945 to 1975. I was one of the very few who experienced the joy of coming home. I showed up at the door after six years of fighting. Six years without a letter. For six years my mother had no idea if I was alive or dead. Can you imagine the happiness of a mother? The war made women most miserable, and then most happy. My mother cried. But we didn't make a scene. Vietnamese are like that. My mother right away thought of our neighbors, who had just received a death notice. In our apartment building, six young men were drafted, and I was the only one to return. We didn't dare celebrate, didn't dare express our joy, because our neighbors lost their children.

1076

01:08:36,266 --> 01:08:38,966 (cheering)

1077

01:08:39,066 --> 01:08:42,433 TOM VALLELY: MARINES In Vietnam, the Communist Party is triumphant.

1078

01:08:42,533 --> 01:08:45,200 And they have exceptionalism, too.

1079

01:08:45,300 --> 01:08:49,066 And their exceptionalism gets in their way[19]

1080

01:08:49,166 --> 01:08:52,833 just like our exceptionalism got in our way.

1081

01:08:52,933 --> 01:08:56,733 So they unify the country in a military sense,

1082

01:08:56,833 --> 01:09:01,200 and then they, they don't really unify the country after that.

1083

01:09:01,300 --> 01:09:05,800 They, they try, but they fail.[20]

1084

01:09:05,899 --> 01:09:08,666 NARRATOR: In the end, there was no bloodbath[21]

1085

01:09:08,766 --> 01:09:11,733 on the scale many had feared,

1086

01:09:11,833 --> 01:09:16,300 but hundreds, perhaps thousands, of people in the countryside

1087

01:09:16,399 --> 01:09:18,000 are thought to have been killed

1088

01:09:18,100 --> 01:09:23,333 in individual acts of revenge or political retaliation.[22]

1089

01:09:23,433 --> 01:09:26,500 Those who had served the Thieu regime,

1090

01:09:26,600 --> 01:09:29,166 from generals to ordinary clerks,

1091

01:09:29,266 --> 01:09:32,899 were required to undergo re-education.[23]

1092

01:09:33,000 --> 01:09:34,833 Enlisted men were assured

1093

01:09:34,933 --> 01:09:38,500 they would only have to submit to three days of "study."

1094

01:09:38,600 --> 01:09:43,133 Officers needn't attend for more than a month.

1095

01:09:44,500 --> 01:09:46,466 PHAM DUY TAT: Some believed they were going to the camps for a short time. But not me. I was detained in a re-education camp for seventeen and a half years. I was among the last 100 people to be released.

HUY DUC: When referring to the camps, the press said "going to study." No one ever siad "going to prison."

1096

01:10:15,066 --> 01:10:17,200 NARRATOR: A million and a half people

1097

01:10:17,300 --> 01:10:22,000 are believed to have undergone some form of indoctrination.[24]

1098

01:10:22,100 --> 01:10:26,566 ARVN cemeteries were bulldozed or padlocked,

1099

01:10:26,666 --> 01:10:29,566 as if the memory of an independent South Vietnam,

1100

01:10:29,666 --> 01:10:32,466 and those who had died for that cause,

1101

01:10:32,566 --> 01:10:35,700 could both be obliterated.

MINUTES 70-80

1102

01:10:35,800 --> 01:10:37,300 DUONG VAN MAI ELLIOTT: The communists,

1103

01:10:37,400 --> 01:10:40,733 in their effort to erase vestiges

1104

01:10:40,833 --> 01:10:42,433 of the former regime,

1105

01:10:42,533 --> 01:10:46,533 have not allowed the South Vietnamese

1106

01:10:46,633 --> 01:10:50,033 who lost their sons in the war

1107

01:10:50,133 --> 01:10:55,600 to mourn, to have their graves and to honor their memory.

1108

01:10:55,700 --> 01:10:59,266 It caused a division that lasts to this day,

1109

01:10:59,366 --> 01:11:04,266 that the winners would not accommodate the losers

1110

01:11:04,366 --> 01:11:06,300 in some way.

1111

01:11:07,866 --> 01:11:12,400 NGUYEN NGOC: NORTH VIETNAMESE ARMY We've become one country, but I would say this: the Vietnamese people have never been more divided then they are now.

1112

01:11:19,433 --> 01:11:24,766 NARRATOR: After 30 years of war, much of Vietnam lay in ruins.

1113

01:11:24,866 --> 01:11:27,500 Three million people are thought to have died,

1114

01:11:27,600 --> 01:11:29,800 North and South.

1115

01:11:29,900 --> 01:11:33,566 Still more had been wounded.

1116

01:11:33,666 --> 01:11:37,900 Thousands of children fathered by American servicemen

1117

01:11:38,000 --> 01:11:40,833 had been left behind.

1118

01:11:40,933 --> 01:11:47,266 Villages needed to be rebuilt, land had to be reclaimed.

1119

01:11:47,366 --> 01:11:50,733 Cities were choked with refugees.

1120

01:11:50,833 --> 01:11:53,633 Millions were without work.

1121

01:11:53,733 --> 01:11:58,000 President Ford imposed an economic embargo.

1122

01:11:58,100 --> 01:12:03,966 Washington refused to recognize the new government of Vietnam.

1123

01:12:04,066 --> 01:12:06,800 But Le Duan and his allies on the Politburo

1124

01:12:06,900 --> 01:12:09,233 remained optimistic.[25]

1125

01:12:09,333 --> 01:12:12,566 "Nothing more can happen," one committee member said.

1126

01:12:12,666 --> 01:12:15,266 "The problems we face now are trifles

1127

01:12:15,366 --> 01:12:18,633 compared to those in the past."

1128

01:12:18,733 --> 01:12:21,500 Le Duan resolved, with Soviet help,

1129

01:12:21,600 --> 01:12:24,566 to turn all of Vietnam into what he called

1130

01:12:24,666 --> 01:12:29,466 an "impregnable outpost of the socialist system."

1131

01:12:29,566 --> 01:12:33,766 Hanoi forcibly collectivized agriculture in the South,[26]

1132

01:12:33,866 --> 01:12:36,233 virtually abolished capitalism,

1133

01:12:36,333 --> 01:12:38,833 nationalized industries,

1134

01:12:38,933 --> 01:12:41,366 and appointed planners to run it all

1135

01:12:41,466 --> 01:12:44,900 along strict communist lines.

1136

01:12:45,000 --> 01:12:49,033 The result would be economic disaster.

1137

01:12:49,133 --> 01:12:54,000 Inflation rose as high as 700% a year.

1138

01:12:54,100 --> 01:12:56,766 People starved.[27]

1139

01:12:57,800 --> 01:12:59,666 BAO NINH: Nothing was more terrible than those ten years after the war. Our living standard collapsed completely. It hit rock bottom. It was absolutely terrible. During the war people could accept hardship. But after the war, it was the huge mistakes of the Stalinist economic policies. It was the economic problems of communism.

1140

01:13:25,766 --> 01:13:28,633 NARRATOR: To compound its problems,

1141

01:13:28,733 --> 01:13:32,300 Vietnam found itself, once again, at war,

1142

01:13:32,400 --> 01:13:35,933 caught between the interests of the two communist powers

1143

01:13:36,033 --> 01:13:38,933 that had once been its staunchest allies,

1144

01:13:39,033 --> 01:13:41,566 China and the Soviet Union.

1145

01:13:41,666 --> 01:13:42,900 (gunshot, man yells)

1146

01:13:43,000 --> 01:13:46,066 After the brutal Maoist regime in Cambodia[28]

1147

01:13:46,166 --> 01:13:47,666 raided border areas,

1148

01:13:47,766 --> 01:13:51,833 Vietnamese troops, with Soviet arms and encouragement,

1149

01:13:51,933 --> 01:13:56,533 crossed the frontier in 1978 and overthrew it.

1150

01:13:56,633 --> 01:13:58,766 A frustrating ten-year

1151

01:13:58,866 --> 01:14:01,366 counterinsurgency campaign followed

1152

01:14:01,466 --> 01:14:06,100 that some called "Vietnam's Vietnam."

1153

01:14:06,200 --> 01:14:08,033 Before it was over,

1154

01:14:08,133 --> 01:14:11,933 the Vietnamese would lose some 50,000 more men,

1155

01:14:12,033 --> 01:14:17,100 almost as many as the Americans had lost in their war.

1156

01:14:17,200 --> 01:14:18,500 (explosions and gunfire)

1157

01:14:18,600 --> 01:14:20,466 Meanwhile, communist China,

1158

01:14:20,566 --> 01:14:24,433 determined to punish Vietnam for invading Cambodia,

1159

01:14:24,533 --> 01:14:27,133 and to show Moscow it would not have a free hand

1160

01:14:27,233 --> 01:14:28,933 in Southeast Asia,

1161

01:14:29,033 --> 01:14:33,533 sent 85,000 troops storming into northern Vietnam.

1162

01:14:33,633 --> 01:14:36,900 They devastated areas along the border

1163

01:14:37,000 --> 01:14:40,800 before the Vietnamese pushed them back.

1164

01:14:42,800 --> 01:14:46,366 ED BRADLEY: The South China Sea, 1978.

1165

01:14:46,466 --> 01:14:50,100 They come ashore at the rate of 10,000 a month,

1166

01:14:50,200 --> 01:14:52,666 much faster than the United States or any other nation

1167

01:14:52,766 --> 01:14:54,566 is willing to accept them.

1168

01:14:54,666 --> 01:14:58,666 They come chasing an elusive memory:

1169

01:14:58,766 --> 01:15:00,866 the promise of America.

1170

01:15:00,966 --> 01:15:06,266 NARRATOR: A million and a half people would eventually flee Vietnam:

1171

01:15:06,366 --> 01:15:09,366 supporters of the old Saigon regime,

1172

01:15:09,466 --> 01:15:11,400 refugees from the renewed fighting

1173

01:15:11,500 --> 01:15:13,466 along the Cambodian border,

1174

01:15:13,566 --> 01:15:16,333 and ethnic Chinese residents of Vietnam,

1175

01:15:16,433 --> 01:15:20,833 whom the new government had treated especially harshly.

1176

01:15:20,933 --> 01:15:25,100 Hundreds of thousands of the boat people died.

1177

01:15:25,200 --> 01:15:27,433 Others suffered in refugee camps

1178

01:15:27,533 --> 01:15:29,833 throughout Southeast Asia.

1179

01:15:34,100 --> 01:15:39,133 Some 400,000 eventually made it to America,

1180

01:15:39,233 --> 01:15:41,966 where they settled in nearly every state,

1181

01:15:42,066 --> 01:15:44,866 industrious, entrepreneurial,

1182

01:15:44,966 --> 01:15:48,700 more eager to take part in American political life

1183

01:15:48,800 --> 01:15:52,300 and more likely to become American citizens

1184

01:15:52,400 --> 01:15:55,800 than other immigrant groups from Asia.

1185

01:15:55,900 --> 01:15:59,866 But for that first generation of Vietnamese Americans,

1186

01:15:59,966 --> 01:16:05,000 memories of their homeland could never be erased.

1187

01:16:06,133 --> 01:16:11,266 TRAN NGOC CHAU (speaking English): LOS ANGELES I'm very happy now after almost 30 years, that I did make a good choice for me, for my family, although I wish I could go back to Vietnam to die there. I want to say to my children that, "Well, I want to go back to Vietnam to live the rest of my life." But I have no such courage, because I will hurt their feelings. And I don't want them to misunderstand me.[29]

1188

01:16:52,133 --> 01:16:53,866 KARL MARLANTES: I remember I was

1189

01:16:53,966 --> 01:16:56,000 with one of my daughters, uh... (chuckles)

1190

01:16:56,100 --> 01:16:58,333 at an intersection and some guy came up behind me

1191

01:16:58,433 --> 01:17:01,466 and blasted the horn.

1192

01:17:01,566 --> 01:17:03,666 When I came to my senses,

1193

01:17:03,766 --> 01:17:05,700 I was on the hood of his car,

1194

01:17:05,800 --> 01:17:08,766 about to, trying to kick his windshield in.

1195

01:17:08,866 --> 01:17:11,033 And I went... and there's people all over looking at me.

1196

01:17:11,133 --> 01:17:12,800 I mean, this is crazy. This is crazy.

1197

01:17:12,900 --> 01:17:14,666 And then I started going, "Well, this is weird."

1198

01:17:14,766 --> 01:17:17,066 I sort of slinked back to my car and, you know,

1199

01:17:17,166 --> 01:17:18,766 my daughter, she's about four, looking at me,

1200

01:17:18,866 --> 01:17:19,900 "Wow, what's that all about?"

1201

01:17:20,000 --> 01:17:21,333 And I go, "What is that all about?"

1202

01:17:21,433 --> 01:17:22,566 I had no idea.

1203

01:17:22,666 --> 01:17:25,033 I had no idea that it was even related to the war.

1204

01:17:27,133 --> 01:17:30,933 NARRATOR: It is as old as war itself.

1205

01:17:31,033 --> 01:17:34,000 The ancient Greeks called it "divine madness."

1206

01:17:36,800 --> 01:17:41,866 It was "soldier's heart" in the Civil War,

1207

01:17:41,966 --> 01:17:46,566 "shell shock" during the First World War

1208

01:17:46,666 --> 01:17:49,000 and "combat fatigue" in the Second.

1209

01:17:52,966 --> 01:17:56,033 Following Vietnam, it was given a new name,

1210

01:17:56,133 --> 01:17:59,466 Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder--

1211

01:17:59,566 --> 01:18:02,200 PTSD.

1212

01:18:02,300 --> 01:18:06,933 MARLANTES: And what you learn is that PTSD doesn't go away.

1213

01:18:07,033 --> 01:18:10,300 But now if someone honks the horn,

1214

01:18:10,400 --> 01:18:11,800 and it startles me, I'm still...

1215

01:18:11,900 --> 01:18:13,500 My heart rate's still going to go up,

1216

01:18:13,600 --> 01:18:15,533 and it'll be there for five minutes and I'm like this.

1217

01:18:15,633 --> 01:18:18,266 But, "Ten, nine, it's just some asshole,

1218

01:18:18,366 --> 01:18:20,466 "he's had a bad day at work, eight, seven, six,

1219

01:18:20,566 --> 01:18:22,333 "it's not... no one's shooting at you, you're safe,

1220

01:18:22,433 --> 01:18:23,966 it's seven, six, five, four, three, two, one."

1221

01:18:24,066 --> 01:18:25,600 And I can control it,

1222

01:18:25,700 --> 01:18:26,966 whereas I couldn't do it before

1223

01:18:27,066 --> 01:18:29,133 because I didn't understand what was going on.

1224

01:18:30,733 --> 01:18:33,166 NARRATOR: Adding to the pain many veterans felt

1225

01:18:33,266 --> 01:18:37,433 was their country's eagerness to forget the war.

1226

01:18:37,533 --> 01:18:40,066 There were few parades.

1227

01:18:41,566 --> 01:18:47,166 In many ways, everyone came home from Vietnam alone.

1228

01:18:48,966 --> 01:18:50,566 VINCENT OKAMOTO: When I got home,

1229

01:18:50,666 --> 01:18:52,033 and my mom and dad were there,

1230

01:18:52,133 --> 01:18:54,600 my brothers and sisters, my wife.

1231

01:18:54,700 --> 01:18:56,400 And we're embracing and...

1232

01:18:59,100 --> 01:19:03,700 I couldn't relate to my wife or my mother what I had seen,

1233

01:19:03,800 --> 01:19:07,100 what I had done in Vietnam.

1234

01:19:07,200 --> 01:19:09,433 I could've talked to my brothers about it,

1235

01:19:09,533 --> 01:19:12,700 but they, they knew I didn't want to.

1236

01:19:12,800 --> 01:19:15,633 And so it just, uh, something unsaid, you know.

1237

01:19:15,733 --> 01:19:17,700 "Welcome back, Vince.

1238

01:19:17,800 --> 01:19:20,766 You've been through the, the wringer, but welcome back."

1239

01:19:23,700 --> 01:19:25,966 NARRATOR: In April 1981,

1240

01:19:26,066 --> 01:19:28,633 a panel of eight architects and sculptors

1241

01:19:28,733 --> 01:19:30,700 gathered in an airplane hangar

1242

01:19:30,800 --> 01:19:34,366 at Andrews Air Force Base outside Washington.

1243

01:19:34,466 --> 01:19:37,300 They were there to choose the winning design

1244

01:19:37,400 --> 01:19:40,466 for a Vietnam memorial for the nation's capital

1245

01:19:40,566 --> 01:19:43,300 from more than 1,400 submissions.

1246

01:19:47,100 --> 01:19:51,133 The memorial was the brainchild of a single stubborn veteran,

1247

01:19:51,233 --> 01:19:54,166 a former rifleman named Jan Scruggs,

1248

01:19:54,266 --> 01:19:57,666 who, after suffering a frightening flashback,

1249

01:19:57,766 --> 01:20:00,533 told his wife he wanted to "build a memorial

1250

01:20:00,633 --> 01:20:03,866 "to all the guys who served in Vietnam.

1251

01:20:03,966 --> 01:20:07,000 It'll have the name of everyone killed."

1252

01:20:07,100 --> 01:20:08,600 With other veterans,

1253

01:20:08,700 --> 01:20:11,533 he established a nonprofit organization,

1254

01:20:11,633 --> 01:20:14,233 the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund,

1255

01:20:14,333 --> 01:20:18,400 and went to work collecting money and making plans.

1256

01:20:18,500 --> 01:20:23,066 In the end, some 650,000 Americans

1257

01:20:23,166 --> 01:20:26,633 would contribute more than $8 million.

MINUTES 80-90

1258

01:20:26,733 --> 01:20:31,400 The judges chose submission number 1026.

1259

01:20:31,500 --> 01:20:32,633 (applause)

1260

01:20:32,733 --> 01:20:34,633 SUSAN PETERSON: 21-year-old Maya Ying Lin,

1261

01:20:34,733 --> 01:20:36,800 an architect student at Yale University,

1262

01:20:36,900 --> 01:20:39,066 got the $20,000 prize.

1263

01:20:39,166 --> 01:20:41,000 Her winning design is comprised

1264

01:20:41,100 --> 01:20:43,566 of two elongated triangles of black granite,

1265

01:20:43,666 --> 01:20:46,133 inset into a hill and inscribed with the names

1266

01:20:46,233 --> 01:20:51,000 of the 57,692 men and women who died in the war.

1267

01:20:51,100 --> 01:20:55,400 Lin, whose parents emigrated from China in the 1940s to Ohio,

1268

01:20:55,500 --> 01:20:56,966 thought she wouldn't win

1269

01:20:57,066 --> 01:20:59,500 because her design was too strange and too strong.

1270

01:20:59,600 --> 01:21:02,733 MAYA LIN: I had a general idea that I wanted to describe a journey,

1271

01:21:02,833 --> 01:21:06,000 a journey that would make you experience death

1272

01:21:06,100 --> 01:21:08,566 and where you'd have to be an observer,

1273

01:21:08,666 --> 01:21:11,333 where you could never really fully be with the dead.

1274

01:21:11,433 --> 01:21:13,400 It wasn't going to be something that was going to say,

1275

01:21:13,500 --> 01:21:15,266 "It's all right, it's all over,"

1276

01:21:15,366 --> 01:21:16,433 because it's not.

1277

01:21:16,533 --> 01:21:19,333 NARRATOR: Differences about the war

1278

01:21:19,433 --> 01:21:23,500 colored people's feelings about the proposed design.

1279

01:21:23,600 --> 01:21:27,000 Some who believed that the war had been unjust and immoral

1280

01:21:27,100 --> 01:21:30,666 feared the monument was somehow meant to glorify it.

1281

01:21:32,133 --> 01:21:35,600 Others feared its stark design failed to do justice

1282

01:21:35,700 --> 01:21:39,566 to the cause for which Americans had fought.

1283

01:21:39,666 --> 01:21:42,266 The writer Tom Wolfe dismissed it

1284

01:21:42,366 --> 01:21:45,366 as "a tribute to Jane Fonda."

1285

01:21:45,466 --> 01:21:47,366 TOM CARHART: VIETNAM VETERAN I don't care about artistic perceptions.

1286

01:21:47,466 --> 01:21:49,500 One needs no artistic education

1287

01:21:49,600 --> 01:21:52,066 to see this memorial design for what it is:

1288

01:21:52,166 --> 01:21:54,666 a black scar.

1289

01:21:54,766 --> 01:21:56,600 Black, the universal color

1290

01:21:56,700 --> 01:21:59,100 of sorrow and shame and degradation

1291

01:21:59,200 --> 01:22:01,933 in all races and all societies worldwide.

1292

01:22:02,033 --> 01:22:05,033 In a hole, hidden as if out of shame.

1293

01:22:05,133 --> 01:22:07,800 JANICE CONNALLY: CITIZEN Mr. Chairman, members of the commission,

1294

01:22:07,900 --> 01:22:09,500 I speak as an individual,

1295

01:22:09,600 --> 01:22:12,100 a member from the general public.

1296

01:22:12,200 --> 01:22:16,733 What are the memorable images from the war in Vietnam?

1297

01:22:16,833 --> 01:22:18,333 A guerrilla,

1298

01:22:18,433 --> 01:22:20,933 shot at point-blank range.

1299

01:22:21,033 --> 01:22:23,566 A naked girl, afire, running,

1300

01:22:23,666 --> 01:22:25,800 screaming down a dusty road.

1301

01:22:27,333 --> 01:22:29,366 I think Maya Lin was right

1302

01:22:29,466 --> 01:22:32,766 in going beyond these kinds of images.

1303

01:22:32,866 --> 01:22:37,633 She resolved all the pain and conflict of that unhappy time

1304

01:22:37,733 --> 01:22:42,400 in a simple message of sacrifice and quiet heroism.

1305

01:22:42,500 --> 01:22:47,300 NARRATOR: In an official vote of support for Maya Lin's design,

1306

01:22:47,400 --> 01:22:51,033 the American Gold Star Mothers spoke for many.

1307

01:22:51,133 --> 01:22:52,933 "Nowadays," they said,

1308

01:22:53,033 --> 01:22:55,900 "patriotism is a complicated matter.

1309

01:22:56,000 --> 01:22:58,033 "But perhaps that is why

1310

01:22:58,133 --> 01:23:00,033 "the V-shaped, black granite lines

1311

01:23:00,133 --> 01:23:03,500 "merging gently with the sloping earth

1312

01:23:03,600 --> 01:23:06,033 "convey the only point about the war

1313

01:23:06,133 --> 01:23:08,200 "on which people may agree:

1314

01:23:08,300 --> 01:23:11,533 that those who died should be remembered."

1315

01:23:11,633 --> 01:23:14,966 ("Bridge Over Troubled Water" by Simon and Garfunkel playing)

1316

01:23:33,733 --> 01:23:37,566 ♪ When you're weary

1317

01:23:40,166 --> 01:23:42,466 ♪ Feeling small

1318

01:23:45,100 --> 01:23:52,433 ♪ When tears are in your eyes

1319

01:23:52,533 --> 01:24:00,600 ♪ I'll dry them all.

1320

01:24:00,700 --> 01:24:05,266 RION CAUSEY: ARMY As you got out of the car and you approached the wall,

1321

01:24:05,366 --> 01:24:09,933 the intensity of which, it grabs you...

1322

01:24:11,200 --> 01:24:12,600 You go up...

1323

01:24:15,900 --> 01:24:17,333 You see the names,

1324

01:24:17,433 --> 01:24:18,733 you touch the names...

1325

01:24:21,400 --> 01:24:23,366 (crying): It's intense.

1326

01:24:23,466 --> 01:24:30,400 ♪ Bridge over troubled water

1327

01:24:30,500 --> 01:24:34,033 ♪ I will lay me down.

1328

01:24:43,133 --> 01:24:44,300 SORLEY: ARMY I did not like

1329

01:24:44,400 --> 01:24:46,133 the Vietnam wall.

1330

01:24:46,233 --> 01:24:50,000 I considered it an ugly, black ditch

1331

01:24:50,100 --> 01:24:53,766 and that it said the only people that, uh--

1332

01:24:53,866 --> 01:24:56,000 to be commemorated are the dead,

1333

01:24:56,100 --> 01:25:00,566 not because they're heroes, but because they're victims.

1334

01:25:02,066 --> 01:25:05,000 I didn't go.

1335

01:25:05,100 --> 01:25:08,266 Until...

1336

01:25:08,366 --> 01:25:10,466 one year...

1337

01:25:10,566 --> 01:25:13,600 they were going to put the wreath in front of...

1338

01:25:13,700 --> 01:25:15,733 the name of my roommate.

1339

01:25:15,833 --> 01:25:18,466 (voice breaking): I had, I had to go.

1340

01:25:18,566 --> 01:25:21,900 So I've gone every year since then

1341

01:25:22,000 --> 01:25:25,800 to remember those we, we lost.

1342

01:25:25,900 --> 01:25:27,800 And, um...

1343

01:25:27,900 --> 01:25:29,433 I walk down to the far left

1344

01:25:29,533 --> 01:25:34,333 and I run my fingers over that name.

1345

01:25:41,066 --> 01:25:43,233 VINCENT OKAMOTO: ARMY You go to that wall,

1346

01:25:43,333 --> 01:25:46,433 and even my son, who was nine years old when I first took him,

1347

01:25:46,533 --> 01:25:49,566 and you see over 58,000 names,

1348

01:25:49,666 --> 01:25:54,933 and you know that unwritten behind or beside each name,

1349

01:25:55,033 --> 01:25:59,133 there's a mother or a father or a wife or a daughter

1350

01:25:59,233 --> 01:26:03,333 whose lives were forever shattered

1351

01:26:03,433 --> 01:26:06,100 by that damn war.

1352

01:26:10,500 --> 01:26:15,033 NANCY BIBERMAN: ANTI-WAR ACTIVIST I've been to the wall, more than once.

1353

01:26:15,133 --> 01:26:17,000 When I look back at the war and, you know,

1354

01:26:17,100 --> 01:26:19,100 think of the horrible things, you know,

1355

01:26:19,200 --> 01:26:22,600 we said to, you know, vets who were returning,

1356

01:26:22,700 --> 01:26:26,466 you know, calling them "baby killers" and worse,

1357

01:26:26,566 --> 01:26:32,400 I, you know... I feel very sad about that.

1358

01:26:32,500 --> 01:26:36,066 I can only say that, you know, we were kids, too,

1359

01:26:36,166 --> 01:26:38,500 you know, just like they were.

1360

01:26:38,600 --> 01:26:41,333 It grieves me, it grieves me today.

1361

01:26:41,433 --> 01:26:44,966 It pains me to think of the things that I said

1362

01:26:45,066 --> 01:26:46,533 and that we said.

1363

01:26:46,633 --> 01:26:50,133 And I'm sorry.

1364

01:26:52,466 --> 01:26:54,533 I'm sorry.

1365

01:27:01,600 --> 01:27:02,800 (bird calling)

1366

01:27:05,666 --> 01:27:07,400 CAROL CROCKER: I didn't want to go.

1367

01:27:08,733 --> 01:27:15,366 And it was a beautiful summer morning.

1368

01:27:15,466 --> 01:27:20,766 Went to the Lincoln Memorial first.

1369

01:27:20,866 --> 01:27:25,100 A comforting place to be.

1370

01:27:25,200 --> 01:27:27,233 And...

1371

01:27:27,333 --> 01:27:32,266 And then crossed the street and walked in towards the entrance.

1372

01:27:32,366 --> 01:27:35,666 And, as you know, at first, you can't really see the wall,

1373

01:27:35,766 --> 01:27:39,366 and you're coming down into the grassy hill.

1374

01:27:39,466 --> 01:27:44,266 And when I caught sight of it,

1375

01:27:44,366 --> 01:27:47,500 I literally lost my breath.

1376

01:27:48,633 --> 01:27:51,300 Of course, I wept.

1377

01:27:53,400 --> 01:27:57,766 I had help getting lifted up so I could touch it.

1378

01:27:57,866 --> 01:28:00,566 I found my brother's name.

1379

01:28:04,733 --> 01:28:06,733 I looked at my brother's name

1380

01:28:06,833 --> 01:28:11,033 in the company of all those other people.

1381

01:28:13,133 --> 01:28:15,733 There was sadness.

1382

01:28:15,833 --> 01:28:20,300 But now he wasn't alone, either.

1383

01:28:20,400 --> 01:28:23,900 He was in the company of people.

1384

01:28:24,000 --> 01:28:26,600 And he was there

1385

01:28:26,700 --> 01:28:31,066 for people to know and to think about.

1386

01:28:31,166 --> 01:28:32,833 And he wasn't forgotten.

1387

01:28:32,933 --> 01:28:34,633 And he wasn't lost.

1388

01:28:34,733 --> 01:28:39,033 It was incredibly healing and freeing for me.

1389

01:28:46,900 --> 01:28:49,033 MUSGRAVE: As I was walking towards it from the reflecting pool,

1390

01:28:49,133 --> 01:28:51,933 there were so many names on those walls.

1391

01:28:52,033 --> 01:28:55,966 And all of a sudden, my throat swole up,

1392

01:28:56,066 --> 01:28:57,900 and I thought, "I can't do this.

1393

01:28:58,000 --> 01:29:00,100 I can't do this right now."

1394

01:29:00,200 --> 01:29:03,433 And I collapsed.

1395

01:29:06,800 --> 01:29:10,900 And all the tears I'd been holding back...

1396

01:29:12,966 --> 01:29:14,933 I didn't cry, I sobbed.

1397

01:29:15,033 --> 01:29:18,933 I was on my knees, sobbing.

1398

01:29:19,033 --> 01:29:22,500 I couldn't stop, I couldn't get my breath.

1399

01:29:25,266 --> 01:29:30,266 And I was so grateful to God that it was there.

1400

01:29:30,366 --> 01:29:33,200 I thought,

1401

01:29:33,300 --> 01:29:35,933 "This is going to save lives.

1402

01:29:36,033 --> 01:29:38,933 This is going to save lives."

1403

01:30:23,066 --> 01:30:25,400 1985 THOMAS VALLELY: MARINES I was struck by its beauty

1404

01:30:25,500 --> 01:30:28,366 and how at peace Vietnam looked from the air.

1405

01:30:28,466 --> 01:30:31,066 I had a sense of anticipation in my body.

1406

01:30:31,166 --> 01:30:33,400 I had worked hard for many months with others

1407

01:30:33,500 --> 01:30:37,933 to organize this trip and to negotiate our arrival

1408

01:30:38,033 --> 01:30:39,066 with the Vietnamese government.

1409

01:30:39,166 --> 01:30:40,200 How do you do?

1410

01:30:40,300 --> 01:30:41,433 Toi ten Tom Vallely.

MINUTES 90-100

1411

01:30:41,533 --> 01:30:44,266 VALLELY: I came back to Vietnam as a veteran

1412

01:30:44,366 --> 01:30:46,500 to learn from history,

1413

01:30:46,600 --> 01:30:49,566 and to see how the place had changed.

1414

01:30:49,666 --> 01:30:51,566 (laughter)

1415

01:30:51,666 --> 01:30:53,733 There had only been 200 Americans

1416

01:30:53,833 --> 01:30:55,400 that had been to Vietnam since 1975,

1417

01:30:55,500 --> 01:30:57,033 and most of them had been correspondents

1418

01:30:57,133 --> 01:30:58,700 and had been in the South.

1419

01:30:58,800 --> 01:31:01,300 (clamoring, horn honking)

1420

01:31:01,400 --> 01:31:04,266 Many of the kids, you'd walk down the street,

1421

01:31:04,366 --> 01:31:06,066 and they'd go, "Lien Xo, lien Xo,"

1422

01:31:06,166 --> 01:31:07,566 which means "Russian."

1423

01:31:07,666 --> 01:31:09,033 And you'd go, "No lien Xo,

1424

01:31:09,133 --> 01:31:11,600 toi la nguoi My"-- "I'm an American."

1425

01:31:11,700 --> 01:31:14,266 And their face would light up, and they'd go, "American!"

1426

01:31:14,366 --> 01:31:16,266 And it would spread like wildfire

1427

01:31:16,366 --> 01:31:18,300 through the schoolyard, or the street

1428

01:31:18,400 --> 01:31:20,266 that Americans were here.

1429

01:31:20,366 --> 01:31:22,766 And they'd come out and they'd be very, very friendly.

1430

01:31:22,866 --> 01:31:26,433 (laughter)

1431

01:31:26,533 --> 01:31:27,633 Goodbye.

1432

01:31:27,733 --> 01:31:30,233 Goodbye! Goodbye!

1433

01:31:30,333 --> 01:31:31,800 (laughter)

1434

01:31:35,233 --> 01:31:40,100 NARRATOR: Tom Vallely had served with the Marines in Vietnam.

1435

01:31:40,200 --> 01:31:45,800 16 years later, the country drew him back.

1436

01:31:45,900 --> 01:31:48,366 He founded the Vietnam Program

1437

01:31:48,466 --> 01:31:50,766 of the Kennedy School at Harvard,

1438

01:31:50,866 --> 01:31:57,066 and helped educate some of the country's future leaders.

1439

01:31:57,166 --> 01:32:00,233 VALLELY: I got very, very involved in the reconnecting

1440

01:32:00,333 --> 01:32:02,600 between the United States and Vietnam,

1441

01:32:02,700 --> 01:32:05,366 and how that reconnection takes place,

1442

01:32:05,466 --> 01:32:10,433 I spent a decade of my life putting those pieces together.

1443

01:32:10,533 --> 01:32:12,733 NARRATOR: Although the United States

1444

01:32:12,833 --> 01:32:16,000 did not have diplomatic relations with Vietnam,

1445

01:32:16,100 --> 01:32:19,966 veterans had begun coming back on their own,

1446

01:32:20,066 --> 01:32:25,133 revisiting places where they had fought...

1447

01:32:26,266 --> 01:32:29,333 ...meeting old foes...

1448

01:32:31,433 --> 01:32:35,166 ...planting trees and building schools,

1449

01:32:35,266 --> 01:32:39,233 trying to put the war behind them.

1450

01:32:40,766 --> 01:32:43,700 Vallely worked closely with other veterans,

1451

01:32:43,800 --> 01:32:47,333 including three United States senators,

1452

01:32:47,433 --> 01:32:51,166 who became among the most influential American advocates

1453

01:32:51,266 --> 01:32:53,933 for normalizing relations:

1454

01:32:54,033 --> 01:32:56,733 John McCain from Arizona,

1455

01:32:56,833 --> 01:33:01,700 who had endured six years as a prisoner of war;

1456

01:33:01,800 --> 01:33:04,833 John Kerry from Massachusetts,

1457

01:33:04,933 --> 01:33:08,333 the ex-commander of a Swift Boat;

1458

01:33:08,433 --> 01:33:11,533 and Bob Kerrey of Nebraska,

1459

01:33:11,633 --> 01:33:15,066 a former Navy SEAL.

1460

01:33:15,166 --> 01:33:18,333 Their task would not be easy.

1461

01:33:18,433 --> 01:33:21,700 Hanoi insisted the United States make good

1462

01:33:21,800 --> 01:33:26,333 on a promise to provide funds for reconstruction.[30]

1463

01:33:26,433 --> 01:33:29,400 For its part, the United States demanded

1464

01:33:29,500 --> 01:33:31,166 a complete accounting

1465

01:33:31,266 --> 01:33:34,400 of the 2,500 Americans whose remains

1466

01:33:34,500 --> 01:33:37,000 had never been recovered.[31]

1467

01:33:37,100 --> 01:33:42,500 Hanoi, which had more than 300,000 missing of its own,

1468

01:33:42,600 --> 01:33:47,166 refused to cooperate.

1469

01:33:47,266 --> 01:33:52,100 But events both within Vietnam and far beyond its borders

1470

01:33:52,200 --> 01:33:56,500 slowly moved things along.

BAO NINH: HANOI Who recognized the problems? The veterans. They spilled their blood on the battlefield, and now they returned to their villages and were forced to live that crazy way in the collectives. It was the farmer-soldier who changed this country.

1471

01:34:24,166 --> 01:34:29,500 NARRATOR: Le Duan died in 1986.

1472

01:34:29,600 --> 01:34:33,900 His successors adopted what they called doi moi,

1473

01:34:34,000 --> 01:34:37,566 a more pragmatic reformist economic policy.

1474

01:34:40,100 --> 01:34:44,233 As the Cold War ended, Soviet aid disappeared,[32]

1475

01:34:44,333 --> 01:34:49,433 and Hanoi finally began to help U.S. military teams

1476

01:34:49,533 --> 01:34:53,266 search for American remains.

1477

01:34:53,366 --> 01:34:57,900 VALLELY: The architects of normalization

1478

01:34:58,000 --> 01:35:00,200 are the Vietnamese.[33]

1479

01:35:00,300 --> 01:35:03,333 It's not the Americans.

1480

01:35:03,433 --> 01:35:05,666 And the normalization of Vietnam

1481

01:35:05,766 --> 01:35:10,800 is a strategy of the Vietnamese Communist Party

1482

01:35:10,900 --> 01:35:13,166 to join the world.

1483

01:35:13,266 --> 01:35:14,766 They want to join the world.

1484

01:35:14,866 --> 01:35:18,033 And the United States makes it hard for them to join the world.

1485

01:35:18,133 --> 01:35:21,000 So John McCain insists,

1486

01:35:21,100 --> 01:35:22,966 "Yeah, you want to have normalization?

1487

01:35:23,066 --> 01:35:26,333 All your prisoners need to be out of re-education camp."

1488

01:35:26,433 --> 01:35:28,800 "You want normalization?"

1489

01:35:28,900 --> 01:35:31,966 John Kerry-- "I need all the information about the missing."

1490

01:35:33,966 --> 01:35:36,466 NARRATOR: In 1994,

1491

01:35:36,566 --> 01:35:39,400 after the Vietnamese met the Americans' demands,

1492

01:35:39,500 --> 01:35:43,733 the United States lifted its trade embargo.

1493

01:35:43,833 --> 01:35:48,466 Full normalization came the following year.

1494

01:35:48,566 --> 01:35:51,900 The new American ambassador was Pete Peterson,

1495

01:35:52,000 --> 01:35:57,133 who had spent six years in Hanoi as a P.O.W.

1496

01:35:59,600 --> 01:36:01,766 In November of 2000,

1497

01:36:01,866 --> 01:36:05,033 President Bill Clinton traveled to Vietnam,

1498

01:36:05,133 --> 01:36:09,033 the first American President to visit that country

1499

01:36:09,133 --> 01:36:12,700 since Richard Nixon reviewed U.S. troops there

1500

01:36:12,800 --> 01:36:15,700 31 years earlier.

1501

01:36:17,633 --> 01:36:19,500 BARACK OBAMA: Now we can say something

1502

01:36:19,600 --> 01:36:21,300 that was once unimaginable:

1503

01:36:21,400 --> 01:36:25,466 Today, Vietnam and the United States are partners.

1504

01:36:25,566 --> 01:36:30,200 We have shown that hearts can change,

1505

01:36:30,300 --> 01:36:31,966 and that a different future is possible

1506

01:36:32,066 --> 01:36:35,900 when we refuse to be prisoners of the past.

1507

01:36:40,900 --> 01:36:42,933 LE CONG HUAN: VIET CONG Some of my comrades who live in cities often meet American veterans. They don't speak each other's language, but they are so happy to meet. They hug each other. They treat each other as vets treat vets. We have put the past behind us. Even though I still have bullets in my body, I want to close the war chapter. Now we should look to the future when our children can go to America to study, and learn the best, most beautiful things from the Americans and get to know the people there. [34]

1508

01:37:40,966 --> 01:37:43,733 MIKE HEANEY: ARMY I went back to Vietnam.

1509

01:37:43,833 --> 01:37:47,633 I got in touch with a provincial vets organization.

1510

01:37:51,933 --> 01:37:54,266 This is a huge organization of Vietnamese vets,

1511

01:37:54,366 --> 01:37:57,766 all former enemies.

1512

01:37:57,866 --> 01:37:59,333 All former enemies.

1513

01:37:59,433 --> 01:38:02,233 But now, mellowed quite a bit, like me.

1514

01:38:02,333 --> 01:38:04,800 You know, they're guys my age, grandpas.

1515

01:38:04,900 --> 01:38:10,800 And after we got past the initial checking each other out,

1516

01:38:10,900 --> 01:38:14,333 and is this a political thing or not,

1517

01:38:14,433 --> 01:38:22,133 they could not have been more gracious and more loving.

1518

01:38:22,233 --> 01:38:27,200 They took me under their wing like a brother soldier.

1519

01:38:27,300 --> 01:38:32,900 We exchanged painful memories, stories.

1520

01:38:35,933 --> 01:38:40,033 And I did a little ceremony honoring the guys I'd lost,

1521

01:38:40,133 --> 01:38:43,566 honoring the Vietnamese enemies that we'd killed.

1522

01:38:43,666 --> 01:38:47,633 And just telling them, you know, they could be at peace now.

1523

01:38:53,066 --> 01:38:56,966 It was a wonderful, wonderful trip.

1524

01:38:59,033 --> 01:39:00,766 You know, you don't...

1525

01:39:00,866 --> 01:39:03,566 You don't get closure, but you get some peace.

1526

01:39:03,666 --> 01:39:06,033 You get some peace-- I got some peace.

1527

01:39:16,133 --> 01:39:20,933 NARRATOR: In Vietnam, the land has largely healed.

1528

01:39:21,033 --> 01:39:24,766 Old animosities have mostly been buried.

1529

01:39:26,833 --> 01:39:29,533 But ghosts remain.

1530

01:39:32,166 --> 01:39:33,600 Americans and Vietnamese

1531

01:39:33,700 --> 01:39:35,766 work together to clean up places

1532

01:39:35,866 --> 01:39:39,200 where Agent Orange has poisoned the earth.[35]

1533

01:39:39,300 --> 01:39:43,566 Unexploded ordnance, half-hidden in the ground,

1534

01:39:43,666 --> 01:39:47,866 still takes lives each year.

1535

01:39:47,966 --> 01:39:51,833 Aged mothers and fathers from northern Vietnam

1536

01:39:51,933 --> 01:39:54,200 still roam the south,

1537

01:39:54,300 --> 01:39:55,466 seeking to discover

1538

01:39:55,566 --> 01:39:58,100 what happened to their sons and daughters.

MINUTES 100-END

1539

01:40:01,733 --> 01:40:06,433 LO KHAC TAM: NORTH VIETNAMESE ARMY The soldiers in my unit, their parents trusted me to look after them. Some of their bodies have never been found, and I feel guilty day and night. In my dreams, I'm haunted by brutal scenes of war and death. I think it's because I haven't fulfilled my obligation. I haven't found them for their families. Every day people call em asking, "My son served in this company of that regiment. He was killed on the battlefield. have you found him?" I have to answer that I haven't.

1540

01:40:58,166 --> 01:41:01,733 NGUYEN NGOC: NGUYEN NGOC I think that you could say that the Vietnam War was a heroic song, but it also was a great tragedy. Now, in Vietnam, we are starting to rethink the war, to ask the questions, was the war necessary to achieve justice? Was it right? The war is over. Now we need to focus on the living. What is more important is to find some meaning, some lessons in the war for our lives.

1541

01:41:55,033 --> 01:41:59,400 SAM WILSON: ARMY As we finally came lurching out of Vietnam...

1542

01:42:00,766 --> 01:42:06,033 We were beginning to doubt ourselves.

1543

01:42:06,133 --> 01:42:10,700 And, uh, that's a foreign feeling for an American.

1544

01:42:10,800 --> 01:42:14,766 We, we seldom doubt ourselves.

1545

01:42:14,866 --> 01:42:19,866 This turned out to be the most bitter, the most divisive--

1546

01:42:19,966 --> 01:42:22,700 or second-most bitter and second-most divisive--

1547

01:42:22,800 --> 01:42:25,366 war in our entire history.

1548

01:42:25,466 --> 01:42:29,966 And we still hurt because of it.

1549

01:42:32,200 --> 01:42:35,966 We have feelings of guilt about Vietnam.

1550

01:42:38,066 --> 01:42:41,500 NARRATOR: More than four decades after the war ended,

1551

01:42:41,600 --> 01:42:44,833 the divisions it created between Americans

1552

01:42:44,933 --> 01:42:48,400 have not yet wholly healed.

1553

01:42:48,500 --> 01:42:52,700 Lessons were learned and then forgotten;

1554

01:42:52,800 --> 01:42:57,700 divides were bridged and then widened;

1555

01:42:57,800 --> 01:43:04,033 old secrets were revealed and new secrets were locked away.[36]

1556

01:43:04,133 --> 01:43:08,266 The Vietnam War was a tragedy,

1557

01:43:08,366 --> 01:43:12,266 immeasurable and irredeemable.

1558

01:43:15,300 --> 01:43:18,633 But meaning can be found in the individual stories

1559

01:43:18,733 --> 01:43:21,100 of those who lived through it,

1560

01:43:21,200 --> 01:43:24,333 stories of courage and comradeship

1561

01:43:24,433 --> 01:43:26,400 and perseverance,

1562

01:43:26,500 --> 01:43:29,900 of understanding and forgiveness

1563

01:43:30,000 --> 01:43:34,866 and, ultimately, reconciliation.

1564

01:43:40,233 --> 01:43:43,666 O'BRIEN: "They shared the weight of memory.

Tim O'Brien is a writer, still struggling to make sense of what he went through.

1565

01:43:43,766 --> 01:43:47,033 "They took up what others could no longer bear.

1566

01:43:47,133 --> 01:43:50,833 "Often, they carried each other, the wounded or weak.

1567

01:43:50,933 --> 01:43:54,733 "They carried infections.

Carol Crocker is a family counselor in upstate New York.

1568

01:43:54,833 --> 01:43:56,966 "They carried chess sets,

1569

01:43:57,066 --> 01:43:59,500 "basketballs,

Huy Duc became a widely read historian and lives in Ho Chi Minh City.

1570

01:43:59,600 --> 01:44:03,133 "Vietnamese-English dictionaries,

1571

01:44:03,233 --> 01:44:09,833 "insignia of rank, Bronze Stars and Purple Hearts,

Bill Ehrhart is a teacher, poet and writer in Philadelphia.

1572

01:44:09,933 --> 01:44:16,600 "plastic cards imprinted with the Code of Conduct.

Duong Van Mai Elliott was reunited with her sister, wrote the story of her divided family and lives in California.

1573

01:44:16,700 --> 01:44:19,666 "They carried diseases,

Roger Harris became an educator and worked 41 years in Boston's public Schools.

1574

01:44:19,766 --> 01:44:23,100 "among them malaria and dysentery.

Matt Harrison retired after 20 years in the Army and lives in Connecticut.

1575

01:44:23,200 --> 01:44:29,533 "They carried lice and ringworm and leeches,

1576

01:44:29,633 --> 01:44:35,666 "paddy algae and various rots and molds.

Le Minh Khue is a journalist and novelist in Hanoi.

1577

01:44:35,766 --> 01:44:42,133 "They carried the land itself-- Vietnam,

Hal Kushner remarried and is an opthamologist, living in Florida.

1578

01:44:42,233 --> 01:44:46,066 "the place, the soil--

Karl Marlantes lives near Seattle and spent 30 years writing a novel about his war.

1579

01:44:46,166 --> 01:44:48,566 "a powdery orange-red dust

Gen Merrill McPeak ran the Air Force during the first Gulf War. He lives in Oregon.

1580

01:44:48,666 --> 01:44:55,233 "that covered their boots and fatigues and faces.

1581

01:44:55,333 --> 01:44:58,600 "They carried the sky.

John Musgrave lives in Kansas and counsels those who fight America's wars.

1582

01:44:58,700 --> 01:45:01,666 "The whole atmosphere,

Nguyen Ngoc is a revered teacher and writer in Vietnam.

1583

01:45:01,766 --> 01:45:04,466 "they carried it--

1584

01:45:04,566 --> 01:45:08,366 "the humidity, the monsoons,

Bao Ninh was the first North Vietnamese foot soldier to write about the war. He lives in Hanoi.

1585

01:45:08,466 --> 01:45:12,600 "the stink of fungus and decay, all of it.

1586

01:45:12,700 --> 01:45:14,833 "They carried gravity.

1587

01:45:14,933 --> 01:45:17,700 "They moved like mules.

Vincent Okamoto is a judge for the Superior Court of Los Angeles County.

1588

01:45:17,800 --> 01:45:20,400 "By daylight, they took sniper fire;

1589

01:45:20,500 --> 01:45:22,300 "at night, they were mortared.

Tran Ngoc Toan spent nine years in a re-education camp and now lives in Houston.

1590

01:45:22,400 --> 01:45:25,900 "They crawled into tunnels and walked point

1591

01:45:26,000 --> 01:45:28,333 "and advanced under fire.

1592

01:45:28,433 --> 01:45:31,266 "But it was not battle,

Phan Quang Tue became an immigration judge in Northern California.

1593

01:45:31,366 --> 01:45:34,300 "it was just the endless march,

1594

01:45:34,400 --> 01:45:37,300 "village to village.

Bill Zimmerman ia a political consultant in Southern California.

1595

01:45:37,400 --> 01:45:41,800 "They marched for the sake of the march.

1596

01:45:41,900 --> 01:45:45,633 "They plodded along slowly, dumbly,

1597

01:45:45,733 --> 01:45:49,900 "leaning forward against the heat, unthinking,

1598

01:45:50,000 --> 01:45:53,600 "all blood and bone, simple grunts,

1599

01:45:53,700 --> 01:45:56,133 "soldiering with their legs,

1600

01:45:56,233 --> 01:45:58,700 "toiling up the hills and down into the paddies

1601

01:45:58,800 --> 01:46:03,633 "and across the rivers and up again and down, just humping,

1602

01:46:03,733 --> 01:46:09,400 "one step and then the next and then another.

1603

01:46:09,500 --> 01:46:11,066 "They made their legs move.

1604

01:46:13,166 --> 01:46:15,033 They endured."

1605

01:46:17,266 --> 01:46:19,033 ("Let It Be" by The Beatles playing)

1606

01:46:29,066 --> 01:46:32,366 ♪ When I find myself in times of trouble ♪

1607

01:46:32,466 --> 01:46:35,600 ♪ Mother Mary comes to me

1608

01:46:35,700 --> 01:46:38,000 ♪ Speaking words of wisdom

1609

01:46:38,100 --> 01:46:41,333 ♪ Let it be

1610

01:46:41,433 --> 01:46:44,233 ♪ And in my hour of darkness

1611

01:46:44,333 --> 01:46:48,100 ♪ She is standing right in front of me ♪

1612

01:46:48,200 --> 01:46:50,733 ♪ Speaking words of wisdom

1613

01:46:50,833 --> 01:46:53,833 ♪ Let it be

1614

01:46:53,933 --> 01:46:57,133 ♪ Let it be, let it be

1615

01:46:57,233 --> 01:47:00,466 ♪ Let it be, let it be ♪

1616

01:47:00,566 --> 01:47:04,000 ♪ Whisper words of wisdom

1617

01:47:04,100 --> 01:47:07,433 ♪ Let it be

1618

01:47:07,533 --> 01:47:10,400 ♪ And when the brokenhearted people ♪

1619

01:47:10,500 --> 01:47:14,266 ♪ Living in the world agree

1620

01:47:14,366 --> 01:47:17,100 ♪ There will be an answer

1621

01:47:17,200 --> 01:47:20,433 ♪ Let it be

1622

01:47:20,533 --> 01:47:23,633 ♪ For though they may be parted ♪

1623

01:47:23,733 --> 01:47:27,866 ♪ There is still a chance that they will see ♪

1624

01:47:27,966 --> 01:47:30,233 ♪ There will be an answer

1625

01:47:30,333 --> 01:47:33,466 ♪ Let it be

1626

01:47:33,566 --> 01:47:36,900 ♪ Let it be, let it be

1627

01:47:37,000 --> 01:47:40,900 ♪ Let it be, let it be ♪

1628

01:47:41,000 --> 01:47:43,700 ♪ Yeah, there will be an answer ♪

1629

01:47:43,800 --> 01:47:46,833 ♪ Let it be

1630

01:47:46,933 --> 01:47:50,233 ♪ Let it be, let it be

1631

01:47:50,333 --> 01:47:54,633 ♪ Let it be, yeah, let it be ♪

1632

01:47:54,733 --> 01:47:57,566 ♪ Whisper words of wisdom

1633

01:47:57,666 --> 01:48:01,933 ♪ Let it be

1634

01:48:02,033 --> 01:48:04,466 ♪ And when the night is cloudy

1635

01:48:04,566 --> 01:48:08,933 ♪ There is still a light that shines on me ♪

1636

01:48:09,033 --> 01:48:11,900 ♪ Shine until tomorrow

1637

01:48:12,000 --> 01:48:15,600 ♪ Let it be

1638

01:48:15,700 --> 01:48:19,166 ♪ I wake up to the sound of music ♪

1639

01:48:19,266 --> 01:48:22,600 ♪ Mother Mary comes to me

1640

01:48:22,700 --> 01:48:25,700 ♪ Speaking words of wisdom

1641

01:48:25,800 --> 01:48:28,800 ♪ Let it be

1642

01:48:28,900 --> 01:48:31,866 ♪ Yeah, let it be, let it be

1643

01:48:31,966 --> 01:48:36,766 ♪ Let it be, yeah, let it be

1644

01:48:36,866 --> 01:48:39,433 ♪ There will be an answer

1645

01:48:39,533 --> 01:48:42,900 ♪ Let it be

1646

01:48:43,000 --> 01:48:46,100 ♪ Let it be, let it be

1647

01:48:46,200 --> 01:48:50,600 ♪ Let it be, yeah, let it be

1648

01:48:50,700 --> 01:48:53,666 ♪ There will be an answer

1649

01:48:53,766 --> 01:48:56,766 ♪ Let it be

1650

01:48:56,866 --> 01:49:00,000 ♪ Let it be, let it be

1651

01:49:00,100 --> 01:49:04,766 ♪ Let it be, yeah, let it be

1652

01:49:04,866 --> 01:49:07,433 ♪ Whisper words of wisdom

1653

01:49:07,533 --> 01:49:22,533 ♪ Let it be.

1654

01:49:23,600 --> 01:49:24,800 ANNOUNCER: LEARN MORE ABOUT THE FILM

1655

01:49:24,800 --> 01:49:27,666 AND FIND ADDITIONAL RESOURCES AT PBS.ORG/VIETNAMWAR

1656

01:49:27,666 --> 01:49:31,600 AND JOIN THE CONVERSATION USING HASHTAG VIETNAMWARPBS.

1657

01:49:31,600 --> 01:49:33,066 "THE VIETNAM WAR" IS AVAILABLE

1658

01:49:33,066 --> 01:49:34,733 ON BLU-RAY AND DVD.

1659

01:49:34,733 --> 01:49:36,400 THE COMPANION BOOK, SOUNDTRACK,

1660

01:49:36,400 --> 01:49:37,800 AND ORIGINAL SCORE FROM THE FILM

1661

01:49:37,800 --> 01:49:38,933 ARE ALSO AVAILABLE.

1662

01:49:38,933 --> 01:49:41,033 TO ORDER, VISIT SHOPPBS.ORG

1663

01:49:41,033 --> 01:49:43,500 OR CALL 1-800-PLAY-PBS.

1664

01:49:43,500 --> 01:49:44,933 EPISODES OF THIS SERIES ALSO

1665

01:49:44,933 --> 01:49:46,033 AVAILABLE FOR DOWNLOAD

1666

01:49:46,033 --> 01:49:47,133 FROM iTUNES.

1667

01:49:50,400 --> 01:49:52,533 ANNOUNCER: BANK OF AMERICA PROUDLY SUPPORTS

1668

01:49:52,533 --> 01:49:57,433 KEN BURNS' AND LYNN NOVICK'S FILM "THE VIETNAM WAR"

1669

01:49:57,433 --> 01:49:59,833 BECAUSE FOSTERING DIFFERENT PERSPECTIVES

1670

01:49:59,833 --> 01:50:02,433 AND CIVIL DISCOURSE AROUND IMPORTANT ISSUES

1671

01:50:02,433 --> 01:50:04,733 FURTHERS PROGRESS, EQUALITY,

1672

01:50:04,733 --> 01:50:06,733 AND A MORE CONNECTED SOCIETY.

1673

01:50:11,200 --> 01:50:15,233 GO TO BANKOFAMERICA.COM/ BETTERCONNECTED TO LEARN MORE.

1674

01:50:18,700 --> 01:50:20,133 ANNOUNCER: MAJOR SUPPORT FOR "THE VIETNAM WAR"

1675

01:50:20,133 --> 01:50:23,633 WAS PROVIDED BY MEMBERS OF THE BETTER ANGELS SOCIETY,

1676

01:50:23,633 --> 01:50:27,600 INCLUDING JONATHAN AND JEANNIE LAVINE,

1677

01:50:27,600 --> 01:50:30,500 DIANE AND HAL BRIERLEY,

1678

01:50:30,500 --> 01:50:32,900 AMY AND DAVID ABRAMS,

1679

01:50:32,900 --> 01:50:35,400 JOHN AND CATHERINE DEBS,

1680

01:50:35,400 --> 01:50:38,300 THE FULLERTON FAMILY CHARITABLE FUND,

1681

01:50:38,300 --> 01:50:40,366 THE MONTRONE FAMILY,

1682

01:50:40,366 --> 01:50:42,700 LYNDA AND STEWART RESNICK,

1683

01:50:42,700 --> 01:50:45,466 THE PERRY AND DONNA GOLKIN FAMILY FOUNDATION,

1684

01:50:45,466 --> 01:50:46,466 THE LYNCH FOUNDATION,

1685

01:50:46,466 --> 01:50:49,333 THE ROGER AND ROSEMARY ENRICO FOUNDATION,

1686

01:50:49,333 --> 01:50:52,766 AND BY THESE ADDITIONAL FUNDERS.

1687

01:50:52,766 --> 01:50:54,666 MAJOR FUNDING WAS ALSO PROVIDED

1688

01:50:54,666 --> 01:50:56,400 BY DAVID H. KOCH...

1689

01:50:58,700 --> 01:51:00,966 THE BLAVATNIK FAMILY FOUNDATION...

1690

01:51:03,300 --> 01:51:05,733 THE PARK FOUNDATION,

1691

01:51:05,733 --> 01:51:07,900 THE NATIONAL ENDOWMENT FOR THE HUMANITIES,

1692

01:51:07,900 --> 01:51:10,100 THE PEW CHARITABLE TRUSTS,

1693

01:51:10,100 --> 01:51:12,766 THE JOHN S. AND JAMES L. KNIGHT FOUNDATION,

1694

01:51:12,766 --> 01:51:15,533 THE ANDREW W. MELLON FOUNDATION,

1695

01:51:15,533 --> 01:51:18,133 THE ARTHUR VINING DAVIS FOUNDATIONS,

1696

01:51:18,133 --> 01:51:20,333 THE FORD FOUNDATION JUSTFILMS,

1697

01:51:20,333 --> 01:51:21,533 BY THE CORPORATION

1698

01:51:21,533 --> 01:51:22,766 FOR PUBLIC BROADCASTING,

1699

01:51:22,766 --> 01:51:24,733 AND BY VIEWERS LIKE YOU.

1700

01:51:24,733 --> 01:51:25,866 THANK YOU.

References

  1. see caption 124. It is the soldier who exhibits moral virtue, despite a few lapses, in contract to the Communists, the Politicians, the Anti-war crowd and others.
  2. (Picture at 9:38 ostensibly shows a body of someone being thrown out of a helicopter)
  3. Sounds very familiar for 21st century politics
  4. Dean was reportedly the instigator for the Watergate break-in, in an alleged attempt to keep tabs on his girl friend, later his wife, Maureen, who supposedly worked for a prostitution ring being run out of the DNC offices.
  5. Appropriately
  6. Was North Vietnam number 4 or 6?
  7. Thereby eliminating any possibility that the U.S. could respond to North Vietnamese violations of the Paris Accord.
  8. Congress made it impossible for the South to sustain a future invasion like the Easter Offensive, thereby sealing its fate. Despite the Paris Agreement removing the remaining U.S. forces from SVN, Congress was not satisfied until they had effectively delivered our South Vietnamese ally to the Communist invaders.
  9. And the U.S. Congress refused to give them a level of support equal to that which was being delivered by North Vietnam's Russian and Chinese allies.
  10. Most anti-government protests, since 1963, had been inspired by Communist agents.
  11. because of funding cuts. The North Vietnamese invasions in 1972 and 1975 required matching armaments.
  12. An election year in the U.S.
  13. That would be appropriate.
  14. I am under the impression that Thieu didn't want to go because America had broken its promise to South Vietnam.
  15. He could have returned!
  16. I just realized the narrator has been using a North Vietnamese dialect to speak Vietnamese names.
  17. Unable to to any thing.
  18. Those had already left. There well could have been an extensive resistance as Bao Ninh suggests. B.N. The actual surrender order was conveyed to the Radio Station by ARVN BG Nguyen Huu Hanh, who then went to his apartment and changed into his North Vietnamese Army uniform.
  19. see Exceptionalism
  20. Sending city people out to "New Economic Zones" probably cost 100,000 lives.
  21. Desbarats, Jacqueline. "Repression in the Socialist Republic of Vietnam". Retrieved 10/31/2017.  Check date values in: |access-date= (help)
  22. How many Chieu hoi's survived the first months?
  23. where at least 200,000 died
  24. Probably closer to 2 1/2 million. One female book-keeper at a special forces camp served three years for her "criminal" activities.
  25. During the war, the Communists accused the U.S. of trying to steal their country. For twenty years they waited for the U.S. to come back, so they could sell their country to them. Now it looks like China is their new prospective buyer.
  26. see Rural New Economic Zones
  27. W are back again to a rice-producing Vietnam enduring famine as had been the case in 1945 (see Espisode 1). Post 1975, had it not been for Harvard Business School trained economist, Nguyen Xuan Oanh, the people of Vietnam might have ended up eating grass like the people of North Korea.
  28. Again brutal is an understatement as it was in episode 1 talking about the North's land reform program.
  29. Picture Duc Tran?
  30. Which they forfeited by resuming their aggression against South Vietnam after the 1973 Paris Accords.
  31. Hanoi has overcharged the U.S. Government for its POW assistance in order to exact reparations from the U.S. just as Vietnam had done when the French wanted their MIA's returned.
  32. Soviet aid amounted to about $6 billion per year. By the time of the collapse of the Soviet Union, Viet-Kieu (Vietnamese in the United States and elsewhere) were repatriating almost the same amount in hard currency assistance to their families
  33. "Former Brown business associate and lover Nolanda Hill revealed on the June 18, 1997 ABC Prime time Live that deceased Cabinet Secretary Ron Brown was set to accept a $700,000 cash payoff from Vietnam in return for pushing normalized trade relations with the communist country." Had George Bush won the election, his Commerce Department was prepared to go ahead with recognition without the bribes.
  34. When will the Hanoi government welcome ARVN vets to meet PAVN vets?
  35. Agent Orange does not linger as a defoliant.
  36. More fatuous, empty statements

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