Photos: Vietnam, US marks 40th anniversary of Vietnam War

Photographs of Vietnam at the end of the war and today.

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Former U.S Marines pose for a group photo during the unveiling ceremony of a plaque dedicated to their fallen comrades Cpl. Charles McMahon and Lance Cpl. Darwin Judge who were the last U.S. servicemen killed in the Vietnam War, at the U.S. Consulate in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, Thursday, April 30, 2015. On the 40th anniversary of the fall of Saigon on Thursday, a group of Marines who were there that day returned to what is now Ho Chi Minh City for a memorial ceremony at the site of the old embassy, which is now the U.S. Consulate. They had been in charge of guarding the embassy and the defense attache office beside Tan Son Nhat Airport, and were tasked with helping to get the last Americans out. (AP Photo/Dita Alangkara)
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FILE - In this April 29, 1975, file photo, a helicopter lifts off from the U.S. embassy in Saigon, Vietnam, during the evacuation of authorized personnel and civilians. More than two bitter decades of war in Vietnam ended with the last days of April 1975. Today, 40 years later, former Associated Press correspondent Peter Arnett has written a new memoir, “Saigon Has Fallen,” detailing his experience covering the war for The AP. (AP Photo/File)
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People on motorbikes go past a poster marking the upcoming 40th anniversary of Reunification Day, the day remembered as the "fall of Saigon," in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam Wednesday, April 29, 2015. The city, formerly known as Saigon, is set to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the end of the Vietnam War on Thursday, April 30. (AP Photo/Nick Ut)
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This April 30, 1975 photo provided by former U.S. Marines Master Gunnery Sgt. Juan Valdez shows Marines barricading themselves on the roof of the U.S. Embassy in Saigon, Vietnam. On the 40th anniversary of the fall of Saigon, 13 Marines returned to dedicate a plaque to their two fallen brothers at the site of the old embassy, which is now the U.S. Consulate. (Juan Valdez via AP)
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A float depicting a tank that crashed through the gate of the presidential palace marking "the fall of Saigon" takes part in a parade celebrating the 40th anniversary of the end of the Vietnam War in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, Thursday, April 30, 2015. (AP Photo/Dita Alangkara)
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This undated photo provided by former U.S. Marines Master Gunnery Sgt. Juan Valdez shows Vietnamese climbing the wall of the U.S. Embassy in Saigon, Vietnam. On the 40th anniversary of the fall of Saigon, 13 Marines returned to dedicate a plaque to their two fallen brothers at the site of the old embassy, which is now the U.S. Consulate. (Juan Valdez via AP)
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Vietnamese top leaders, from left, Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung, Communist Party General Secretary Nguyen Phu Trong, President Truong Tan Sang and National Assembly Chairman Nguyen Sinh Hung walk to the rostrum to attend a parade celebrating the 40th anniversary of the end of the Vietnam War which is also remembered as the fall of Saigon, in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, Thursday, April 30, 2015. (AP Photo/Na Son Nguyen)
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This April 30, 1975 photo provided by former U.S. Marines Master Gunnery Sgt. Juan Valdez of Oceanside, California, shows himself, rear center, sitting on the last helicopter leaving the U.S. Embassy in Saigon, Vietnam. On the 40th anniversary of the fall of Saigon, 13 Marines returned to dedicate a plaque to their two fallen brothers at the site of the old embassy, which is now the U.S. Consulate. (AP Photo/Courtesy of Juan Valdez via AP)
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In this Tuesday, April 28, 2015 photo, former U.S. Marines Master Gunnery Sgt. Juan Valdez of Oceanside, California, holds a photo of himself, rear center, sitting on the last helicopter leaving the U.S. Embassy in Saigon on April 30, 1975, in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam. On the 40th anniversary of the fall of Saigon, 13 Marines returned to dedicate a plaque to their two fallen brothers at the site of the old embassy, which is now the U.S. Consulate. (AP Photo/Dita Alangkara)
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In this Tuesday, April 28, 2015 photo, former U.S. Marines Sgt. Kevin Maloney, left, of Hollywood, Florida and Master Gunnery Sgt. Juan Valdez, of Oceanside, California, look at photos on Maloney's tablet in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam. On the 40th anniversary of the fall of Saigon, 13 Marines returned to dedicate a plaque to their two fallen brothers at the site of the old embassy, which is now the U.S. Consulate. (AP Photo/Dita Alangkara)
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FILE - In this April 29, 1975 file photo, South Vietnamese civilians scale the 14-foot wall of the U.S. embassy in Saigon, trying to reach evacuation helicopters as the last Americans depart from Vietnam. (AP Photo/File)
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To go with AFP story Vietnam-war-history-politics-anniversary, ADVANCER by Cat Barton This picture taken on April 9, 2015 shows disabled soldiers from the former US-backed southern Vietnam army waiting to receive charity money at Lien Tri pagoda in Ho Chi Minh City. Forty years after it won the war, the Communist Party still rules Vietnam with an iron fist. But with crony capitalism, corruption and inequality now rife, many claim its victory was a hollow one. AFP PHOTO / HOANG DINH Nam
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FILE - In this Thursday, May 1, 1975 file photo, U.S. sailors transfer a South Vietnamese boy from the USS Blue Ridge to a merchant vessel off the South Vietnam coast during evacuations from South Vietnam. (AP Photo/Nick Ut, File)
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Dancers perform during a parade celebrating the 40th anniversary of the end of the Vietnam War which is also remembered as the fall of Saigon, in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, Thursday, April 30, 2015. (AP Photo/Dita Alangkara)
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FILE - In this April 1, 1975 file photo, a cargo net lifts refugees from a barge onto the SS Pioneer Contender for evacuation from the fallen city of Da Nang, Vietnam. It took eight hours to load some 6,000 refugees aboard the ship. (AP Photo/Peter O'Loughlin, File)
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Vietnamese youths perform during a parade celebrating the 40th anniversary of the end of the Vietnam War which is also remembered as the "Fall of Saigon," in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, Thursday, April 30, 2015. (AP Photo/Dita Alangkara)
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FILE - In this April 29, 1975 file photo, a helicopter lifts off from the U.S. embassy in Saigon, Vietnam during last minute evacuation of authorized personnel and civilians. (AP Photo/File)
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Vietnamese veterans gather for a parade celebrating the 40th anniversary of the end of the Vietnam War which is also remembered as the fall of Saigon, in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, Thursday, April 30, 2015. (AP Photo/Na Son Nguyen)
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FILE - In this Thursday, April 4, 1975 file photo, young demonstrators toss sticks and rocks at South Vietnamese riot police in Saigon in a brief confrontation after a rally sponsored by the mainly Catholic anti-corruption movement. (AP Photo/Lo Vinh, File)
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To go with AFP story Vietnam-war-history-politics-anniversary, ADVANCER by Cat Barton This picture taken on April 9, 2015 shows disabled soldiers from the former US-backed southern Vietnam army waiting to receive charity money at Lien Tri pagoda in Ho Chi Minh City. Forty years after it won the war, the Communist Party still rules Vietnam with an iron fist. But with crony capitalism, corruption and inequality now rife, many claim its victory was a hollow one. AFP PHOTO / HOANG DINH Nam
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FILE - In this Sunday, April 27, 1975 file photo, a cross from a church in Saigon stands against the dawn sky after a rocket attack and ensuing fire. (AP Photo/Matt Franjola, File)
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This picture taken on April 11, 2015 shows Landon Carnie standing at the site where the very first Babylift flight crashed on April 4, 1975, shortly after takeoff on the outskirts of Ho Chi Minh City. In the chaotic last days of the Vietnam War, the US airlifted thousands of children out of Saigon. Forty years later, many Operation Babylift survivors have returned, looking for answers from a family or country they never knew. During the controversial mass evacuation, some 3,000 children were flown out of Vietnam to be adopted by families from America to Sweden. AFP PHOTO / HOANG DINH Nam
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FILE - In this April 30, 1975 file photo, a North Vietnamese tank rolls through the gates of the Presidential Palace in Saigon, signifying the fall of South Vietnam. The war ended on April 30, 1975, with the fall of Saigon, now known as Ho Chi Minh City, to communist troops from the north. (AP Photo/File)
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A former soldier from Northern Vietnam takes pictures of the front gates of the former presidential palace of the Southern Vietnamese regime (not pictured) in Ho Chi Minh City on April 29, 2015. Forty years ago the bloody, decades-long war in Vietnam came to a dramatic end with North Vietnamese tanks crashing through the gates of the Presidential Palace in Saigon. AFP PHOTO / HOANG DINH Nam
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FILE - In this April 28, 1975 photo provided the White House via the Gerald R. Ford Library, President Gerald Ford, center, meets with Secretary of State Henry Kissinger, right, and Vice President Nelson Rockefeller in the Oval Office of the White House to discuss the American evacuation of Saigon. (David Hume Kennerly/White House, Gerald R. Ford Library via AP, File)
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Vietnam's Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung delivers a speech during a parade marking the 40th anniversary of the fall of Saigon (former name of Ho Chi Minh City) in Ho Chi Minh City on April 30, 2015. Vietnam marked the 40th anniversary of Saigon's fall with a huge military parade to celebrate the moment communist forces ended a decades-long conflict and delivered a painful blow to American morale and military prestige. AFP PHOTO / HOANG DINH Nam
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FILE - In this April 30, 1975 file photo, South Vietnamese civilians try to scale the walls of the U.S. embassy in Saigon in an attempt to get aboard evacuation flights. (AP Photo/Neal Ulevich, File)
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Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung, center, walks to the rostrum to attend a parade celebrating the 40th anniversary of the end of the Vietnam War which is also remembered as the fall of Saigon, in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, Thursday, April 30, 2015. (AP Photo/Na Son Nguyen)
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FILE - In this April 23, 1975 photo provided by the Department of Defense, Vietnamese refugees crowd aboard the Military Sealift Command ship Pioneer Contender to be evacuated to areas further south. (Department of Defense via AP, File)
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Military personnel march during a parade celebrating the 40th anniversary of the end of the Vietnam War which is also remembered as the "Fall of Saigon," in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, Thursday, April 30, 2015. (AP Photo/Dita Alangkara)
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FILE - In this April 29, 1975 file photo, people try to scale the 14-foot wall of the U.S. embassy in Saigon, trying to reach evacuation helicopters, as the last of the Americans depart from Vietnam. (AP Photo/Neal Ulevich, File)
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FILE - In this April 29, 1975, file photo, South Vietnamese civilians try to scale the 14-foot wall of the U.S. embassy in Saigon, trying to reach evacuation helicopters as the last Americans departed from Vietnam. More than two bitter decades of war in Vietnam ended with the last days of April 1975. Today, 40 years later, former Associated Press correspondent Peter Arnett has written a new memoir, “Saigon Has Fallen,” detailing his experience covering the war for The AP. (AP Photo/File)
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Former U.S. Marine Sgt. Kevin Maloney of Hollywood, Florida, places a flower in front of the plaque dedicated to his fallen comrades Cpl. Charles McMahon and Lance Cpl. Darwin Judge who were the last U.S. servicemen killed in the Vietnam War, during its unveiling ceremony at the U.S. Consulate in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, Thursday, April 30, 2015. On the 40th anniversary of the fall of Saigon on Thursday, a group of Marines who were there that day returned to what is now Ho Chi Minh City for a memorial ceremony at the site of the old embassy, which is now the U.S. Consulate. They had been in charge of guarding the embassy and the defense attache office beside Tan Son Nhat Airport, and were tasked with helping to get the last Americans out. (AP Photo/Dita Alangkara)
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FILE - In this April 1975 file photo, orphans aboard the first "Operation Babylift" flight at the end of the Vietnam War look through the windows of World Airways DC-8 jet as it flies them to the United States. (AP Photo/File)
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FILE - In this May 4, 1975 file photo, a youth waves a weapon and a Provisional Revolutionary Government (PRG) flag as he joins PRG troops on a jeep on Tu Do street in Saigon. (AP Photo/Matt Franjola, File)
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People on motorbikes go past a poster marking the upcoming 40th anniversary of Reunification Day, the day remembered as the "fall of Saigon," in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam Wednesday, April 29, 2015. The city, formerly known as Saigon, is set to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the end of the Vietnam War on Thursday, April 30. (AP Photo/Nick Ut)
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FILE - In this Tuesday, April 29, 1975 file photo, U.S. Navy personnel aboard the USS Blue Ridge push a helicopter into the sea off the coast of Vietnam in order to make room for more evacuation flights from Saigon. The helicopter had carried Vietnamese people fleeing Saigon as North Vietnamese forces closed in on the capital. (AP Photo/File)
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FILE - In this Tuesday, April 29, 1975 file photo, American citizens arrive aboard the command and control ship USS Blue Ridge after being evacuated out of Saigon, South Vietnam, by U.S. Marine and Air Force helicopters operating from Navy ships. (U.S. Navy via AP, File)
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Vietnamese veterans who served in the same tank company during the Vietnam War greet each other during their reunion ahead of the commemoration of the 40th anniversary of the end of the war in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, Wednesday, April 29, 2015. The city, formerly known as Saigon, is set to celebrate the anniversary on April 30. (AP Photo/Dita Alangkara)
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FILE - In this April 5, 1965 file photo, Capt. Donald R. Brown crouches on the ground in Saigon, waiting for the order for attack across an open field against Vietcong positions in a treeline from where enemy combatants with automatic weapons had briefly pinned down the HQ company of the 2nd Battalion, 46 Regiment. (AP Photo/File)
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Tourists take a selfie near a light display set up as a part of commemorations of the 40th anniversary of the end of the Vietnam War in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, Wednesday, April 29, 2015. The city is set to celebrate the day which is also remembered as the "fall of Saigon" on April 30. (AP Photo/Dita Alangkara)