40 Years After The Vietnam War, Life Goes On

40 years since Saigon (now known as Ho Chi Minh City) fell during the Vietnam War, many are thinking about how Vietnam and its people have survived and continued forward with their lives since April 30, 1975. In particular, today marks Vietnam’s 40th Reunification Day, a day many people consider to be the end of the Vietnam war, and thus, the day freedom was finally achieved.

Photos Abound After The Vietnam War

If you want to see photos of that time period, travel to Hanoi to visit Nguyen Manh Hiep, a soldier who fought in the war. He has dedicated time into collecting photos and other artifacts, and has consequently opened his own homemade museum to the public in 2011. Today, the museum pays tribute to his fellow soldiers who died in the war, and is visited by schools, former soldiers, and tourists every year. According to Hiep, 64, his intention is to teach the younger generation about the war, since over 60 percent of the current population is comprised of people born after the event. His own children fall into that category and state they have learned a lot from their father’s self-built museum.

For those planning a visit, Hiep has posted hundreds of photos of the war in Vietnam on the walls of his two-story house; he also displays items he has found in dumps throughout the country: radio transmitters, casings from bombs, as well as a window from a grounded aircraft in his front yard.

An Unwavering Focus On Peace

While the world still remembers the US-Vietnam war as a tragic event, there is now an unwavering focus on peace in Vietnam. According to a former National Assembly member, Professor Nguyen Minh Thuyet, the Vietnam War is far from the only conflict his country has been involved in; in fact, Vietnam has fought in at least 13 wars throughout  its history. Therefore, on this particular day, it comes as no surprise that many want to focus on peace by focusing on the future instead of dwelling in the past.

Although not a depiction of the Vietnam War, this film reveals a little of what wartime encompasses for the soldiers that bravely choose to fight: