Thursday, January 27, 2011

January 27, 2011: 38th Anniversary: Cease Fire in Viet Nam. Thank God

 Our War
 Paris Peace Accords signed — This Day in History — 1/27/1973:

"Article I
.... The United States and all other countries respect the independence, sovereignty, unity, and territorial integrity of Viet-Nam as recognized by the 1954 Geneva Agreements on Viet-Nam . . .
Article 2
A cease fire shall be observed throughout South Viet-Nam as of 2400 hours G.M.T., on January 27, 1973. At the same hour, the United States will stop all its military activities against the territory of the Democratic Republic of Viet-Nam by ground, air and naval forces, wherever they may be based, and end the mining of the territorial waters, ports, harbors, and waterways of the Democratic Republic of Viet-Nam. The United States will remove, permanently deactivate or destroy all the mines in the territorial waters, ports, harbors, and waterways of North Viet-Nam as soon as this Agreement goes into effect. The complete cessation of hostilities mentioned in this Article shall be durable and without limit of time....
Article 4
The United States will not continue its military involvement or intervene in the internal affairs of South Viet-Nam.
Article 5
Within sixty days of the signing of this Agreement, there will be a total withdrawal from South Viet-Nam of troops, military advisers, and military personnel including technical military personnel and military personnel associated with the pacification program, armaments, munitions, and war material of the United States and those of the other foreign countries mentioned in Article 3(a). Advisers from the above-mentioned countries to all paramilitary organizations and the police force will also be withdrawn within the same period of time...."

I feel sad reading the words of the Paris Peace Accords, thinking of how many more words and photos are needed to relay the meaning of the War to people of other eras.  I think of what Viet Nam looked like, felt like, smelled like, sounded like, even tasted like.  The five senses can't even do justice to the full meaning.  My twenty West Point classmates (USMA 1968) who died there are part of the meaning to me and many others.

Gulf of Tonkin, Robert McNamara, General Westmoreland, Dean Rusk, Diem, Ky, General Maxwell Taylor, President Johnson, DaNang, Saigon, Vung Tau, Hoi An River, Monkey Mountain, Marble Mountain, Phu Bai, 45th Engineer Group of 18th Engineer Brigade, Quang Ngai, Quang Tri, Tomahawk, Sally, Rakkason, "Black Smoke",Khe Sanh, My Lai, Nha Trang, Hai Van Pass, Laos, Cambodia, Donut Dollies, Body Count, Rusty Calley, Arc Lite, Huey, Cobra, Kiowa, Chinook, Floor Show, Cold Duck, Gin and Tonic, Poker, Bridge, R & R, China Beach, Bob Hope, Ration Card, MPC, Mateus, Check Ride, Autorotation, Lam Sanh 719, Mortar Attack, Perimeter, Red Smoke, Friendly Fire, White Phosphorus, Nomex, DEROS, Peace.  The Viet Nam Veterans Memorial.

And on and on.  Peace, Peace and Peace.  Our War.  My War.

For more of the Paris Peace Accords click on the link below.

My Memorial Day Post about "The Wall" :
Grief and the Viet Nam Wall

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