1. April 24, 1975, Saigon - South Vietnamese line up at the U.S. Embassy in Saigon, seeking evacuation days before the fall of Saigon 2. April 1, 1975, Nha Trang - South Vietnamese scramble to board an aircraft fleeing North Vietnamese forces 3. April 24, 1975, Saigon - South Vietnamese waiting in line for evacuation watch an American helicopter take off from the roof of the U.S. Embassy in Saigon 4. March 23, 1975, Tuy Hoa - South Vietnamese civilian and soldiers climb aboard a rescue helicopter to escape advancing North Vietnamese troops
April 30, 1975 - North Vietnamese forces capture Saigon, ending the war
Like many other remaining South Vietnamese, my father, a soldier, was imprisoned in a “reeducation camp” for seven years where he endured severe malnutrition, forced labor, and inhumane conditions.
It was some time after the fall of Saigon in 1975 that Vietnam slowly, but surely, began to be an acceptable topic of conversation. People began to ask, with what seemed genuine interest, if I had been in the war. But during these conversations, I also began to notice a very peculiar thing. About every third or fourth person would then ask, ‘Were you wounded?’ …
People still ask me the question from time to time, although not as often as they did before the Wall. When they used to ask me, I would reply, 'No, I was lucky. I wasn’t wounded.’ Now I say to those who ask the question, 'Everybody was wounded in Vietnam… everybody.’