The Vietnam War was the longest and most unpopular war in which Americans ever fought. And there is no reckoning the cost. The toll in suffering, sorrow, in rancorous national turmoil can never be tabulated. No one wants ever to see America so divided again. And for many of the more than two million American veterans of the war, the wounds of Vietnam will never heal.
Fifty-eight thousand Americans lost their lives.
The losses to the Vietnamese people were appalling.
The financial cost to the United States comes to something over $150 billion dollars.
Direct American involvement began in 1955 with the arrival of the first advisors. The first combat troops arrived in 1965 and we fought the war until the cease-fire of January 1973. To a whole new generation of young Americans today, it seems a story from the olden times.
In 1983, the unfolding of the Vietnam tragedy was the focus of an extraordinary documentary series broadcast on public television.
When first aired, the series was recognized immediately as a landmark. It had taken six years to make. Researchers had combed film archives in eleven countries and the result was a stunning record of the conflict as it happened. The original thirteen-part program was later edited to eleven parts and rebroadcast in spring 1997.
Part 2 -
America's Mandarin (1954-1963)
With a goal of stopping the spread of communism in Southeast Asia, America replaced France in South Vietnam -- supporting autocratic President Ngo Dinh Diem until his own generals turned against him in a coup that brought political chaos to Saigon.
Jun 12, 2009, 20:06:50
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