Date of Award

Spring 2015

Document Type

Campus Access Thesis

College

College of Theology, Arts, & Sciences

Department

Humanities

Degree Name

History, BA

First Supervisor

Dr. Gerd Horten

Abstract

Forty years after the Vietnam War ended, the challenges of remembering and retelling the war continues. The war ended on April 30th, 1975 and marked the fall of Saigon. Millions of refugees faced adversity as they left their homes with the hope of a better future, primarily in the United States. With the assimilation to a new lifestyle, along with its culture and traditions, the obstacles of passing on the history of the war became a challenge as children of Vietnamese immigrants are taught with a different history of the war. However, it is not just these two perspectives of the Vietnam War that are taught; the official commemoration of the Vietnam War, taught in the reunified Socialist Republic of Vietnam, is contrastingly different from what is remembered by Vietnamese immigrants and taught in American history classes in the United States.

As the 40th anniversary of the Vietnam War approaches, the war is still controversial in the ways it is remembered by different groups of people and through different generations. With all the complex details of the war, how it ended, followed by challenges of recreating a unified society, and the art of commemorating the war, these dilemmas are still faced by first- and second-generations of Vietnamese people in the United States and in Vietnam. To have an understanding of the war, all sides of the war must be recognized and respected.

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