As we began to contemplate evacuation,
the question, the burning question was,
and who gets left behind?"
I borrowed a truck
and I basically sent the signal to my folks,
and this meant a group of South Vietnamese majors,
lieutenant colonels, colonels and their families
to muster at an address in downtown Saigon.
西貢 前南越首都 今胡志明市
I drove down there, they loaded up onto the truck,
and I drove them to the airbase.
And I had told them, "When you hear three thumps,
"that means hold the babies' mouths.
不要呼吸 不要說話 不要發出任何噪音
"Don't breathe, don't talk, don't make any noise
because we're going through the gatepost."
I saluted in uniform
as a captain of the United States Army.
The guard waved me through,
and I drove straight out to the flight line
to an aircraft that was awaiting.
One Vietnamese colonel that was putting his family on the plane,
he had wanted to stay in Vietnam to defend the country.
And this full colonel had, like, eight kids and a wife.
And he was in tears, the family...
The family were in tears,
and I said to him, "Get on the plane.
對每個人來說 那都是個令人極其難過 痛不欲生的
It was a terrible, terrible, terrible moral dilemma
We today have concluded an agreement to end the war
and bring peace with honor in Vietnam.
We have adopted a plan for the complete withdrawal
of all U.S. combat ground forces.
We are finally bringing American men home.
We who made the agreement
thought that it would be the beginning
not of peace in the American sense,
but the beginning of a period of coexistence
which might evolve as it did in Korea into two states.
Reconciliation between North and South Vietnam
we knew would be extremely difficult.
But I was hopeful.
Because of the Paris Agreement,
American soldiers were going home.
But I was on my way back to Vietnam.
I was assigned to Saigon
in the first week of August 1973,
so about six months after the ceasefire.
I would say that between the State Department people
and CIA people,
the contractors who were there to maintain infrastructure,
as well as people like me,
we had 5,000 to 7,000 Americans in country.
A lot of the guys had Vietnamese girlfriends and wives,
in many cases with children.
In general, things were eerily calm
and in many ways normal in Saigon.
My sense was that we were gonna be there,
you know, pretty much for a long time to come.
I was assigned to the American embassy in Saigon.
I was in charge
of the 84 Marine security guards that were there,
making sure that they kept up
with their physical fitness training.
We were there to protect American lives
as well as American property.
It was just a day-to-day job.
The Ambassador there was a guy named Graham Martin,
a North Carolinian, just as I was.
He spoke with a slow Southern drawl.
He was a great gentleman.
He was a cold warrior in the old stripe.
He'd lost an adopted son in Vietnam to combat.
And he was not gonna give up South Vietnam to the Communists.
He was determined to keep U.S. aid
flowing into Saigon.
When the ceasefire occurred in 1973,
everybody toasted it with Bloody Marys
in the U.S. embassy.
It was a grand party.
We thought peace was at hand.
But the Paris Peace Accord was a masterpiece of ambiguity.
In order to get President Thieu and the South Vietnamese
to go along with the Paris Agreement,
President Nixon pulled out all the stops,
and in a letter to President Thieu,
he promised that if the North Vietnamese
were to substantially violate
the terms of the Paris Agreement,
the United States would respond with full force.
In other words, reenter the war.
The North Vietnamese viewed Nixon as a madman.
They were terrified of him.
They believed that Nixon, if necessary,
would bring back American air power.
But in August 1974, he was gone.
Nixon resigned because of Watergate.
And overnight, everything changed.
Hanoi suddenly saw the road to Saigon as being open.
The South Vietnamese population
had ample reason to fear the Vietnamese Communists.
The Communist conduct throughout the course of the war
had been violent and unforgiving.
For example, when the city of Hue
was taken over by the North Vietnamese,
several thousand people on a long blacklist
were rounded up...
Schoolteachers, government civil servants,
people who were known anti-Communists...
And they were executed,
in some cases even buried alive.
So panic was but a millimeter away.
Hundreds of thousands of refugees
are in a blind rush to flee even further
from the rapidly advancing Communists.
Bruce Dunning reports.
President Thieu broadcast a strong appeal
to the soldiers and the people of Da Nang,
urging them to stay and fight.
As the enemy approaches, the panic has swept
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