Vietnam War symposium examines conflict’s beginning and controversial ending
Saigon – now Ho Chi Minh City – fell to North Vietnamese forces 42 years ago, effectively ending a war that started in 1955. At the height of U.S. involvement in the Vietnam War, about 500,000 service members were involved and more than 58,000 died. But the true cost in lives was much greater.
Vietnam released its official estimate of war dead in 1995 did Vietnam, according to the Encyclopaedia Britannica, “as many as 2 million civilians on both sides and some 1.1 million North Vietnamese and Viet Cong fighters. The U.S. military has estimated that between 200,000 and 250,000 South Vietnamese soldiers died in the war.”
But the story of the war is seldom told from the perspective of South Vietnamese refugees now living in the United States, many of them in Tarrant County.
Tarrant County Precinct 2 Commissioner Andy H. Nguyen is partnering with Tarrant County College South Campus, the Vietnamese American Community of Greater Tarrant County and the Vietnamese Culture and Science Association of Dallas/Fort Worth to host a symposium entitled “Vietnam: The Struggle for Freedom and Democracy.”
Dates are not precise, but it is generally agreed that the war started in 1955 and ended April 30, 1975.
The symposium is open to the public Saturday, April 29, from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., at Tarrant County College South Campus, 5301 Campus Drive in Fort Worth. Seating is limited. For more information and to register, visit vnwar.org. Tarrant County College will supply a certificate of completion for five hours of professional development.
Tarrant County College said in a news release that this the first symposium of its kind in North Texas and will be presented from the rare perspective of the South Vietnamese refugees who suffered the most during this conflict. The event will be offered in English for the younger Vietnamese Americans and the general public.
The program will feature panel discussions, breakout sessions, interactive Q&A and a keynote address delivered by Geoffrey Shaw, author of The Lost Mandate of Heaven: The American Betrayal of Ngo Dinh Diem, President of Vietnam.
“We are honored to partner with Commissioner Nguyen and the Vietnamese community to host such an educational event,” TCC South Campus President Peter Jordan said in the release. “Events such as free symposia serve as a catalyst to promote, celebrate and increase awareness about diversity and to encourage cross-cultural interaction.”
Please visit www.vnwar.org for more details about the Symposium.
– FWBP Staff