Vietnam Peace Day, on January 27, is an important day in the history of America and Vietnam as it marks the day that the United States, South Vietnam, Viet Cong, and North Vietnam signed the Paris Peace Accords or the “Agreement on Ending the War and Restoring Peace in Viet Nam.” This effectively ceased America’s involvement in the Vietnam War. Did you know that more than 58,000 Americans were killed in the 20 years of this war? Yes, more than 150,000 American soldiers were wounded severely, not to mention the losses on the other side.
History of Vietnam Peace Day
The American experience in Vietnam was a long and painful one for the soldiers and the nation. It even took a significant toll on American culture and was considered the most tumultuous period in American history since the Civil War. The roots of the Vietnam War can be traced back to World War II when Japanese forces invaded French-ruled Vietnam. At that time, the political leader Ho Chi Minh formed Viet Minh, inspired by the Chinese and Soviet Communism. After their defeat in World War II, Japan withdrew its forces from Vietnam, leaving the French-backed emperor, Bao Dai, in control.
Viet Minh forces seized this opportunity and captured the northern city of Hanoi, declaring the Democratic Republic of Vietnam with Ho as President. On the other side, Bao set up the state of Vietnam in July, with Saigon as its capital. While Ho wanted a communist nation model, Bao wanted a country with western culture. This is the conflict that pitted the communist government of North Vietnam against South Vietnam.
In 1954, the U.S. began its involvement in the war by backing South Vietnam following its policy of being against any allies of the Soviet Union. After a long and horrific two decades of war, in January 1973, the United States and North Vietnam signed the final peace agreement, pulling its troops from Vietnam. This was the birth of Vietnam Peace Day. However, the war between North and South Vietnam continued for another 15 years. Today, Vietnam’s economy is growing and people are enjoying the fresh air of freedom. On this Vietnam Peace Day, let’s honor and pay tribute to the hundreds of thousands of lives lost in the course of this war.
Vietnam Peace Day timeline
The United States becomes actively involved in the war by deploying thousands of its soldiers to Vietnam.
More than 500,000 U.S. military personnel are stationed in Vietnam.
President Richard Nixon orders the withdrawal of U.S. forces.
The Vietnam War ends as Communist forces seize control of South Vietnam.
Vietnam Peace Day FAQs
Did the Americans lose the Vietnam War?
According to most historians, the decade-long military intervention ended as a failure for the Americans. People have different speculations and beliefs as to why, including inappropriate combat tactics and incorrect media reporting.
Is Vietnam still communist?
Kind of, yes. Vietnam is a one-party socialist republic led by a communist party.
Is Vietnam a U.S. ally?
Yes, despite the horrific past, Vietnam is considered a potential ally of the United States.
How to Observe Vietnam Peace Day
What better way to celebrate Vietnam Peace Day than spreading peace and raising awareness about the horrific side of wars. It’s also an important day to realize why peace is so important.
Study other wars
Several other wars, like the Vietnam War, were fought in the past, and there are many wars in the world even now. Educate yourself and others about the war and do what you can to stop them.
Vietnam is one of the cheapest and most underrated tourist destinations in the world. You can visit Vietnam and see how peace has changed the nation.
5 Facts About The Vietnam War That Will Stun You
There were other countries involved too
Other countries, including Australia and New Zealand, also fought in Vietnam.
Americans preferred their enemy’s weapon
The American troops’ standard-issue infantry rifle M-16 was so faulty that they preferred the Vietnam troops’ AK-47 in the war.
Most soldiers volunteered
Contrary to popular belief, the majority of the men who fought in Vietnam volunteered, with only 25% being drafted.
Not exclusively a jungle war
Unlike what we see in movies about the Vietnam War, it was not exclusively a jungle war, and it was fought with complete tanks and artillery.
The unofficial Gulf of Tonkin incident
Various official records say that the Gulf of Tonkin incident did not happen or was not what was advertised.
Why Vietnam Peace Day is Important
It is a positive day
The Vietnam War was one of the significant wars of that time, and even today, it is described as one of the goriest wars that the U.S. has faced. Vietnam Peace Day marks the end of that ugly war and marks the anniversary of peace in Vietnam.
It saved a lot of lives
The Vietnam war is responsible for many deaths of both U.S. citizens and the people of Vietnam. Putting an end to that war saved many lives that could have been lost.
It teaches us that peace brings change
By putting an end to the war, we prevented the destruction of a beautiful country and allowed it to rebuild and grow for the better. The day teaches us that war is not the answer.
Vietnam Peace Day dates