The Pain of War

For those of a certain age, the fall of Saigon in April of 1975 was one of those “where were you when…” moments. The images of CIA officers helping evacuees into a waiting helicopter are etched in our minds – and in our history.

But the beginning of the end of the Vietnam War came two years earlier – 50 years ago this year – when the United States signed the Paris Peace Accords and agreed to withdraw its troops after nearly two decades of involvement that would come to be synonymous with the word “quagmire.”

Vietnam changed our nation in ways we are still attempting to understand. It was our first televised war, and the failures of our military and political leadership undermined our faith, trust and confidence in our very government.

Some 2.7 million American men and women served the Vietnam War, and more than 58,000 of them paid the ultimate price.

The Press Democrat pays tribute to those who did as their country asked and served in a war that was not of their own making or choosing.

This project was made possible through the financial support of Friedman’s Home Improvement.