Vietnam War - Preface

Vietnam War (Illustration) Cold War World History American History American Presidents Biographies Geography Government Social Studies Famous Historical Events

During the Vietnam War, Americans dropped this propaganda leaflet over North Vietnam.  The purpose was to encourage North Vietnamese fighters (referred to as "Viet Cong") to defect to the side of South Vietnam.  ("Chieu Hoi" was an amnesty program.)  Image online, courtesy U.S. National Archives.


On the deepest level,
the legacy of Vietnam
is the disruption of our story,
of our explanation of the past
and vision of the future.

John Hellman
Ohio State University

Rarely, in recent memory, has the United States been as bitterly divided as it was (and still is) over the Vietnam War. Young people (including teenagers) were sent to fight an enemy they did not know in a war they did not understand. Nearly 59,000 of them died.

Those who returned home did not receive a hero’s welcome. Some were taunted as "baby killers." Others carried physical and emotional scars of battle. Sent halfway around the world to fight someone else’s war, most were forever changed. America had lost her innocence.

Captured on film and sound recordings, the never-declared Vietnam War is still a vivid memory for those who fought it. But for those who were not there, the National Archives contain a wealth of images (some of them explicit) depicting the horrors of Vietnam. Web sites by veterans and the U.S. military (including audio clips of actual battles) fill in the gaps.

This story is a virtual journey back in time, to see the pictures and hear the sounds of war. It is dedicated to all the men and women who served their country in that Southeast Asian land.

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Author: Carole D. Bos, J.D. 5190stories and lessons created

Original Release: Nov 01, 2001

Updated Last Revision: Sep 25, 2017

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"Vietnam War" AwesomeStories.com. Nov 01, 2001. Jan 18, 2020.
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