Today is the fiftieth anniversary of the signing of the Paris Peace Accords by the U.S., South Vietnam, the Viet Cong, and North Vietnam, supposedly ending the war in Vietnam. After that signing, in 1973, I returned to Vietnam as the Department of Defense Special Representative (DODSPECREP), but because the war was over, tours in Vietnam were now “gentlemen’s tours,” not wartime tours, so I was allowed to bring my family, my wife and my four children. My job was secretly to monitor the radio communications of the invading North Vietnamese, and I knew perfectly well that they were continuing their effort to conquer South Vietnam and that Saigon, where I and my family were living, was in danger.
As my readers know all too well, I succeeded in getting my family safely out of the country just twenty days before the North Vietnamese communists seized Saigon in April 1975 and I escaped under fire. I lost many good friends among the South Vietnamese who were caught unawares.
So January 27, “Vietnam Peace Day,” is a bitter day for me. I observe it in silence and with a heavy heart.