First Lt. Gary D. Jackson of Dayton, Ohio, carries a wounded South Vietnamese Ranger to an ambulance Feb. 6, 1968 after a brief but intense battle with the Viet Cong during the Tet Offensive near the National Sports Stadium in the Cholon section of Saigon. (AP Photo/Dang Van Phuoc)
On March 29, 1973, the last U.S. combat troops left South Vietnam, a full two months after the signing of the Vietnam peace agreement, bringing a close to one of America’s most divisive and heartbreaking chapters.
“[R]epresentatives of the United States, North and South Vietnam, and the Vietcong signed [the] peace agreement in Paris,” the History Channel notes on its website.
“Its key provisions included a cease-fire throughout Vietnam, the withdrawal of U.S. forces, the release of prisoners of war, and the reunification of North and South Vietnam through peaceful means,” the report adds. “The South Vietnamese government was to remain in place until new elections were held, and North Vietnamese forces in the South were not to advance further nor be reinforced.”
Of course, as we know now, the “peace” agreement didn’t hold.
“Even before the last American troops departed on March 29, the communists violated the cease-fire, and by early 1974 full-scale war had resumed,” the History Chanel claims.
“At the end of 1974, South Vietnamese authorities reported that 80,000 of their soldiers and civilians had been killed in fighting during the year, making it the most costly of the Vietnam War,” it adds.
As we pause to remember all the good men, women and children who were touched by this terrible conflict, and as we prepare for this Easter weekend, we thought we’d share with you these 25 stunning photos from the conflict in Vietnam:
25. Chopper Down
A U.S. crewman runs from a crashed CH-21 Shawnee troop helicopter near the village of Ca Mau in the southern tip of South Vietnam, Dec. 11, 1962. Two helicopters crashed without serious injuries during a government raid on the Viet Cong-infiltrated area. Both helicopters were destroyed to keep them out of enemy hands. (AP Photo/Horst Faas)
A father holds the body of his child as South Vietnamese Army Rangers look down from their armored vehicle March 19, 1964. The child was killed as government forces pursued guerrillas into a village near the Cambodian border. (AP Photo/Horst Faas)
The sun breaks through dense jungle foliage as South Vietnamese troops, joined by U.S. advisers, rest after a cold, damp and tense night of waiting in an ambush position for a Viet Cong attack that didn’t come, January 1965. (Horst Faas/AP).
22. The Strain
The strain of battle for Dong Xoai is shown on the face of U.S. Army Sgt. Philip Fink, an advisor to the 52nd Vietnamese Ranger battalion, shown June 12, 1965. The unit bore the brunt of recapturing the jungle outpost from the Viet Cong. (AP Photo/Steve Stibbens)
21. Flushing Out Guerrillas
A South Vietnamese soldier uses the end of a dagger to beat a farmer for allegedly supplying government troops with inaccurate information about the movement of Viet Cong guerrillas in a village west of Saigon, Vietnam. (AP Photo/Horst Faas, File).
20. War Birds
Hovering U.S. Army helicopters pour machine gun fire into a tree line to cover the advance of South Vietnamese ground troops in an attack on a Viet Cong camp 18 miles north of Tay Ninh, northwest of Saigon near the Cambodian border, in Vietnam in March of 1965. (AP Photo/Horst Faas).
A young Marine private waits on the beach during the Marine landing, Da Nang, Vietnam, August 3, 1965. (U.S. Marine Corps.)
18. War Is All Hell
A napalm strike erupts in a fireball near U.S. troops on patrol in South Vietnam in 1966 during the Vietnam War. (AP Photo).
17. Publicly Validating Each Other
Demonstrators in Berkeley, California march against the war in Vietnam in December of 1965. Returning veterans were often treated with extreme hostility by anti-war protesters. (AP Photo).
16. Death From Above
An Air Force F-100D Super Sabre aircraft fires a salvo of 2.75-inch rockets against an enemy position in South Vietnam on January 1st, 1967. (US Department of Defense)
15. War Is All Hell II
During Operation “Bushmaster”, a member of Company “L”, (Ranger), 75th Infantry, wearing camouflage makeup sits alone with his thoughts while waiting to participate in an assault mission against North Vietnamese Army (NVA) forces in Vietnam in August of 1971. (US Department of Defense/SP4 John L. Hennesey, 221st Sig Co).
14. Semper Fi
U.S. Marines emerge from their muddy foxholes at sunrise after a third night of fighting against continued attacks of north Vietnamese 324 B division troops during the Vietnam War on Sept. 21, 1966. (AP Photo/Henri Huet).
13. ‘Semper’ Means ‘Semper’
A marine helps his wounded comrade to cover despite North Vietnamese fire during battle on May 15, 1967 in the western sector of “Leatherneck Square” south of the demilitarized zone in South Vietnam. (AP Photo/John Schneider).
12. Stars & Stripes
Dak To, Vietnam, First Sgt. Benjamin Reynolds and 1st Sgt. Robert M. Baker, both of Co. B, 3rd Bn., 12th Infantry, 4th Infantry Division, raise the American flag on Hill No. 927 on December 5th, 1967. (US Department of Defense/Spec. 4 R. Abeyta).
Unaware of incoming enemy round, a South Vietnamese photographer made this picture of a South Vietnamese trooper dug in at Hai Van, South of Hue, Nov. 20, 1972. Camera caught the subsequent explosion before the soldier had time to react. (AP Photo).
10. Enduring Pain
A wounded U.S. paratrooper grimaces in pain while waiting for medical evacuation at base camp in the A Shau Valley near the Laos border in South Vietnam during the Vietnam War. Photo taken by then AP photographer Hugh Van Es on May 19, 1969. (AP Photo/Hugh Van Es).
9. Cold Fear
A Viet Cong prisoner awaits interrogation at the A-109 Special Forces Detachment in Thuong Duc, Vietnam, (25 km west of Da Nang), 23 January 1967. (AFP PHOTO/National Archives).
8. Tending to the Wounded
First Cavalry Division Medic Thomas Cole, from Richmond, Va., looks up with his one uncovered eye as he continues to treat a wounded Staff Sgt. Harrison Pell during a January 1966 firefight in the Central Highlands between U.S. troops and a combined North Vietnamese and Vietcong force. (AP Photo/Henri Huet).
7. The Agony of Loss
In this June 1965 photo, South Vietnamese civilians, among the few survivors of two days of heavy fighting, huddle together in the aftermath of a battle to retake a Vietcong-held post at Dong Xoai, Vietnam. (Photo by AP Photo/Horst Faas).
6. Medics Dedicated
Trying to avoid intense sniper fire, two American medics carry a wounded paratrooper to an evacuation helicopter during the Vietnam War on June 24, 1965. A company of paratroopers dropped directly into a Viet Cong staging area in the jungle near Thoung Lang, Vietnam. The medics are, Gerald Levy, left, of New York; and PFC Andre G. Brown of Chicago. The wounded soldier is not identified. (Photo by AP Photo/Horst Faas).
A U.S. infantryman from A Company, 1st Battalion, 16th Infantry carries a crying child from Cam Xe village after dropping a phosphorous grenade into a bunker cleared of civilians during an operation near the Michelin rubber plantation northwest of Saigon, August 22, 1966. A platoon of the 1st Infantry Division raided the village, looking for snipers that had inflicted casualties on the platoon. GIs rushed about 40 civilians out of the village before artillery bombardment ensued. (Photo by AP Photo/Horst Faas).
4. Gazing Upon Massacre
A young South Vietnamese woman covers her mouth as she stares into a mass grave where victims of a reported Viet Cong massacre were being exhumed near Dien Bai village, east of Hue, in April 1969. The woman’s husband, father and brother had been missing since the Tet Offensive, and were feared to be among those killed by Communist forces. (Photo by AP Photo/Horst Faas).
3. ‘Hazardous to Your Health’
A U.S. Marine shows a message written on the back of his flack vest at the Khe Sanh combat base in Vietnam on Feb. 21, 1968 during the Vietnam War. The quote reads, “Caution: Being a Marine in Khe Sanh may be hazardous to your health.” Khe Sanh had been subject to increased rocket and artillery attacks from the North Vietnamese troops in the area. (AP Photo/Rick Merron).
2. Out In the Open
U.S. Air Force bombs create a curtain of flying shrapnel and debris barely 200 feet beyond the perimeter of South Vietnamese ranger positions defending Khe Sanh during the siege of the U.S. Marine base, March 1968. (AP Photo/ARVN, Maj. Nguyen Ngoc Hanh).
Released prisoner of war Lt. Col. Robert L. Stirm is greeted by his family at Travis Air Force Base in Fairfield, Calif., as he returns home from the Vietnam War, March 17, 1973. In the lead is Stirm’s daughter Lorrie, 15, followed by son Robert, 14; daughter Cynthia, 11; wife Loretta and son Roger, 12. (AP Photo/Sal Veder).
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Featured image U.S. Marine Corps. This post has been updated.