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11.9.1 Ceremony honoring dead soldiers - Vietnam

circa 1961-1975
Photograph

Ceremony honoring dead soldiers - Vietnam. San Mateo Historical Photographs Collection. San Mateo Public Library.

American involvement in Vietnam began when France, the former colonizing power, tried to reassert its claims to the region after World War II. In the context of the Cold War, the American government became increasingly concerned about the need to contain and prevent the spread of communism around the world. In 1964, following the Gulf of Tonkin Resolution, the US government sent thousands of additional service members to fight alongside South Vietnamese soldiers against the communists in Vietnam. The number of casualties also began to increase rapidly. This image depicts a ceremony honoring soldiers killed in the Vietnam War. How do you think the war in Vietnam was similar to and different from other Cold War struggles? What impact do you think the war and the death of these soldiers had on families back home?

American involvement in Vietnam began when France, the former colonizing power, tried to reassert its claims to the region after World War II. In the context of the Cold War, the American government became increasingly concerned about the need to contain and prevent the spread of communism around the world. In 1964, following the Gulf of Tonkin Resolution, the US government sent thousands of additional service members to fight alongside South Vietnamese soldiers against the communists in Vietnam. The number of casualties also began to increase rapidly. This image depicts a ceremony honoring soldiers killed in the Vietnam War. Ask students to consider how the war in Vietnam was similar to and different from other Cold War struggles. Discuss the context of this war in light of US efforts to contain the communist threat and willingness to engage in military action to do so. Ask students to consider the impact of the war and the death of these soldiers on families back home. Provide information on the process of the draft and emerging concerns about the purpose of the war.