Viet Nam News
HÀ NỘI — A number of declassified documents relating to the 1973 Paris Peace Accords, stored by the United States National Archives, are now showcased to the public for the first time in Việt Nam.
The exhibition, named Paris Peace Accords – A Way to Peace, takes place in Hà Nội from Thursday to mark the 45th anniversary of the signing of the Agreement on Ending the War and Restoring Peace in Việt Nam (1973-2018) and the 23rd anniversary of the normalisation of diplomatic relations between the United States and Việt Nam (1995-2018).
Nearly 120 historical documents, objects and photos relating to the Paris Peace Accords, are on display. With three parts, the event focuses on the Paris Peace Talks, the Paris Peace Conference and the Paris Peace Accords, as well as their impacts on Việt Nam’s struggle for independence, peace and national reunification.
Đặng Thanh Tùng, director of the Department of State Records Management and Archives Việt Nam, said the exhibition gives historical researchers, diplomats and the public insight into the historical significance of the 1973 Paris Peace Accords, as well as reminds the public of the heroic history of the nation. It also helps enhance cooperation between the department and the US National Archives and Records Administration, who were the coorganisers of the display.
Director of the US archives David Ferriero said that among the documents his agency sent to the exhibition are President Richard Nixon’s announcement of his initial acceptance of the agreement on ending the war and restoring peace in Việt Nam in January 1973, along with a number of faxed documents and photos.
“The exhibit uses textual records, films, photographs and artifacts to tell the story leading up to the negotiations which ended a war that divided the peoples of both countries,” said Ferriero.
“We contributed facsimiles from the records of the State and Defense Departments and the Presidential Libraries of Lyndon Johnson, Richard Nixon and Gerald Ford, including film footage.
A poignant letter to President Nixon by a child in 1970 urged him to ‘stop the war in Việt Nam my cousin is in. And I want the United States to settle down.’”
“As a veteran of the war myself, this was also a personal pilgrimage. It is my first time back in the country since early 1971 when I left Đà Nẵng as a US Navy Hospital Corpsman. In my year there, I came to appreciate the beauty of the country and the kindness of the people. And the common desire to end the fighting. So, for me, it was an emotional and joyful return.”
“After almost 50 years, I am tremendously proud of our new friends in Việt Nam as we explore collaborative opportunities beyond this exhibit,” he said.
“We have much to learn from each other as we share access to our records; we are in the same business–collecting and protecting the records of our countries and, most importantly, encouraging the use of those records to learn from our past.”
On January 27, 1973, the Paris Peace Accords – an agreement to end the war and restore peace in Việt Nam – were signed between the four governments of the Democratic Republic of Việt Nam, the National Front for the Liberation of South Việt Nam, the Republic of Việt Nam and the United States.
The agreement was the outcome of a long negotiation that lasted for four years, eight months and 14 days with more than 200 public sessions and 24 private meetings.
Under the agreement, the US recognised Việt Nam’s independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity and withdrew all US and allied troops out of southern Việt Nam. This agreement created the prerequisite for Việt Nam’s great victory in Spring 1975 that totally liberated the country.
The exhibition will run until July 20 at the Hà Nội Museum, Phạm Hùng Road, Nam Từ Liêm District, Hà Nội. — VNS