vietnam war

The first American combat troops to arrive in Vietnam landed in the coastal city of Danang 50 years ago this past March. The 2,000 Marines had the job of protecting the nearby U.S. air base.

It took the members of the 9th Marine Expeditionary Brigade almost an entire day to bring their men and materiel ashore that day in March 1965. Nguyen Tien knows, because he was there.

In one of the many war cemeteries in Lang Son, a city in northern Vietnam, Pham Thi Ky and her family light incense and offer prayers for her brother-in-law, who died 36 years ago in Vietnam's brief but bloody border war with China.

That 1979 war left more than 50,000 dead. There are other graves here, too. They fought and died against the French occupiers, then the Americans. But relative to China, those were brief battles.

On a perfect spring morning, Jan Scruggs walks along the site overlooking the wall of the Vietnam Veterans' Memorial in Washington, D.C. Contrasting the bright colors of blooming trees and flowers is the black granite carved with the names of more than 58,000 Americans who served during the war.

Scruggs, a veteran himself, is credited with getting the memorial built. He's now preparing to retire. Morning Edition met Scruggs to learn the story of how the memorial was built, honoring the dead from a war that ended 40 years ago, on April 30, 1975.

MU Archives

Peace Park is that grassy little knoll along the north edge of MU’s campus. It’s at the corner of 8th and Elm, a stone’s throw away from the columns. There’s a creek (or drainage ditch) that saunters through it, creating a calm and tranquil vibe for the meditators and hammock dwellers.    

    

American flag
File Photo / KBIA

 Missouri officials have scheduled a Statehouse ceremony on Saturday to observe the state's first Vietnam Veterans Day.