IN THE NEWS #426 - Vietnam, 25 Years Later

By Paul Thompson

This is _______ with the VOA Special English program IN THE NEWS.

Sunday is the twenty-fifth anniversary of the end of the war in Vietnam. Americans call it the Vietnam War. The Vietnamese call it the American War. On April thirtieth, Nineteen-Seventy, Communist North Vietnamese forces overthrew the American-supported government of South Vietnam.

Two Americans who were in Vietnam during the war have returned. One was a pilot held prisoner for five-and-a-half years. The other, a nurse named Cherie Clark, worked with young children who had no parents.

The pilot is John McCain. His plane was shot down during a bombing raid over Hanoi in Nineteen-Sixty-Seven. Today he is a United States senator and, until recently, a candidate for president. He arrived in Hanoi this week for his eighth visit since the war ended.

Senator McCain said his job is to support the new relationship between the United States and Vietnam. He and the American ambassador to Vietnam, Pete Peterson, attended a ceremony. At the ceremony, Vietnamese officials returned the remains of six people believed to have been American servicemen. More than fifty-eight-thousand Americans lost their lives during ten years of United States involvement in Vietnam.

Mr. McCain also took his son to visit what is left of the Hoa Lo prison, the so-called "Hanoi Hilton" where he spent three years. He said he is no longer angry about his beatings, torture and lack of medical treatment there. But he said he cannot forgive what his jailers did to his friends, including killing some of them. On Friday, Mr. McCain said the wrong side won the war.

Vietnamese officials were angry at his earlier comments. Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Phan Thuy Thanh said the United States carried out a "war of aggression" against the Vietnamese. She said almost three-million people died, and more than four-million were wounded. More than two-thousand Americans are still missing from the war. But Mizz Thanh said Vietnam is missing three-hundred-thousand people.

During the last few days of the war, American transport planes flew more than two-thousand orphaned babies to the United States, where they soon found homes. Cherie Clark was part of "Operation Babylift."She was working in a children's home in Saigon, now called Ho Chi Minh City.

Today, Cherie Clark again works in Vietnam. She leads the aid group International Mission of Hope. This time, she says, it is economic conditions that force many children into her care. She says their parents hope she will find a family that can provide a better life. The United States established diplomatic relations with Vietnam in Nineteen-Ninety-Five. Last year more than two-hundred-thousand Americans visited Vietnam. Many came to see Cherie Clark.

This VOA Special English program IN THE NEWS, was written by Paul Thompson. This is ___________.

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