The collapse of South Vietnam on April 30,1975 brought an end to one of the most bitter wars in history. Nearly 25 years after the end of the Vietnam War, the ashes are still warm and glowing. While the communists boasted of their victory, they must live with the aftermath of the war - a devastated land and an impoverished nation. Americans, proud of a "defeat with honor", are still taunted by the question of their involvement in "the quagmire of Vietnam". It took nearly 20 years for the American public to give due respect to those hundreds of thousands of veterans who fought in the war, and for the valor of the 58,000 fallen soldiers to be recognized on the granite wall of the Vietnam Memorial in Washington D.C. As for the embattled soldiers of the Republic of Vietnam Armed Forces, those who have devoted their heart and soul to defending a troubled nation, they have been scattered to the four corners of the earth. Many have suffered through the tortures of imprisonment and reeducation camps - some never saw their families again. Those who survived the traumas of war often live a tortured life. Still, others must make a living away from their homeland. The war created a sea of lost souls.
Those living souls are witnesses to the war. The soldiers of the Republic of Vietnam, the Airborne Rangers, the Vietnam Special Forces have fought in the battlefield. Victorious battles of the past - Pleime, Dong Xoai, Binh Gia, Tet offensive, An Loc, Binh Long, Kontum, Ashao, Hue, Quang Tri . . . and even the last stand in Saigon on April 30, 1975 - are proof of their unbending bravery. The fate of the war, however, belongs to the past; it was decided 25 years ago, whether in Washington or Paris. In bringing up the past, we don't want to change what had been decided. Our duty as a soldier rests with our fallen motherland. We have earned the right to walk with pride, with our heads up high. We must set aside whatever shame that may be laid upon us so we can support each other to live in the present and look forward to building our future. Our future rests with the younger Vietnamese generation. We must continue to speak and teach the lessons of the Vietnam War to pave the way for the construction of a new free Vietnam.
In memory of April 30th, the family of the 81st Airborne Ranger Association including the members of Delta, 81st Abn Rgr, and LLDB is a part of ARVN, want to share our voices with our friends of the armed forces and the population of South Vietnam in honoring our fallen heroes as well as the veterans who fought for the freedom of South Vietnam.
The family of the 81st Airborne Ranger Association.