South Vietnam's main military cemetery, at Bien Hoa, continues to grow despite hopes of a ceasefire.
GV Cemetery. Catholic and Buddhist graves mixed.
SV Line of graves and mourners around graveside. (2 shots)
SV Buddhist monks
SV Soldier lighting candles.
SV Soldiers carry coffin from hearse and mourners around grave. (5 shots)
SV TILTDOWN coffin in grave.
SV Old woman at graveside.
SV PAN Cemetery (graves)
SV Ceremony and army officer pinning medals on coffins. (2 shots)
SV Soldier playing bugle.
CV Medal on coffin PAN to altar.
SV Coffins PAN to mourner.
"It is very sad that he died on perhaps the eve of a cease fire. If he had died a long time ago when there seemed no hope, maybe the sadness would not be so great".
"If he had died a long time ago, hen there med no hope, maybe the sadness would not be so great."
Initials RW/VS 23.32 RW/VS 23.57
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Background: South Vietnam's main military cemetery, at Bien Hoa, continues to grow despite hopes of a ceasefire.
The gradual American withdrawal from Vietnam, and talk of a ceasefire, have not stopped the dying. On average, 500 South Vietnamese soldiers are still being killed each week.
But the prospects of ceasefire after so much fighting. add poignancy to the grief of the bereaved.
One woman, who lost her eighteen-year-old son in a mortar attack this week, told newsmen at the cemetery:
SYNOPSIS: This is South Vietnam's main military cemetery, at Bien Hoa, north of Saigon.
The American are withdrawing from the war; there is talk of a ceasefire, but neither has stopped the dying.
South Vietnamese soldiers are still being killed at the rate of more than five hundred a week, as both sides struggle for territory in what could be the final weeks of the war.
Since nineteen-sixty-one, at least one-hundred-and-eighty-thousand South Vietnamese soldiers have died in the war. North Vietnamese and Viet Cong casualties are believed to be many times that number. But it is the civilians who are the real losers
The dead can be counted in hundreds of thousands. And many of those that remain are mourners.
The prospects of a ceasefire have added poignancy to the grief to the bereaved. Many feel that there is a particular waste in the loss of a relative or friend in what could be the final days of a war.
One woman told newsmen at her son's funeral this week: