Delaware State University to host Vietnam retrospective

DOVER — Thursday marks the 40th anniversary of the day Saigon fell, symbolizing the end of the Vietnam War.

A program “Remembering the Vietnam War: A 40 Year Retrospective” on Thursday night at Delaware State University mark the anniversary.

Saigon, the capital of U.S.-supported South Vietnam, fell on April 30, 1975, to the North Vietnam forces, leading to Vietnam coming under communist control.

Dr. Sam Hoff, George Washington Distinguished Professor and professor of history and political science at Delaware State University, will lead the retrospective. It is open to the public.

The evening will begin with a keynote address by Dave Skocik, Vietnam veteran and public affairs officer for the State Council of the Vietnam Veterans of America.

“Surviving Vietnam veterans will always recall where they were when they heard the news of South Vietnam being overrun on April 30, 1975,” he said. “The loss was not diminished by our forces having left the country more than two years earlier under the terms of the Paris Accords.”

He also will introduce a short video, “The American Humanitarian Effort in Vietnam,” produced by the Pennsylvania Veterans Museum.

The film will be followed by a panel discussion focusing on war experiences and chaired by history professors Dr. Steven Newton and Dr. Yinghong Cheng, associate professor of history Dr. Niklas Robinson, and four Vietnam veterans.

The veterans — Woody Postle, Rick Lovekin, Mahlon Fegley and Peter Senft — had different roles in the war, ranging from piloting to intelligence gathering. Their deployment dates spanned from 1963 to 1970.

“Most Vietnam veterans remember it as the most divisive conflict since the American Civil War,” Mr. Skocik said.

“Many recall being blamed for a war they didn’t start but in which they served honorably.”

To conclude the evening, audience members can participate in a question-and-answer segment with the veterans, moderated by Dr. Hoff.

“Remembering the Vietnam War: A 40 Year Retrospective” will be held from 7-9 p.m. Thursday in the Bank of America Auditorium at Delaware State University. The building can be accessed from the university’s entrance on College Road.

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