The inhabitants of Saigon, the South Vietnamese capital, have shown no visible reaction to Friday's (23 December) announcement that 24-hour truces were to be observed at both Christmas and New Year.
The inhabitants of Saigon, the South Vietnamese capital, have shown no visible reaction to Friday's (23 December) announcement that 24-hour truces were to be observed at both Christmas and New Year. They live very much from day to day, without letting their hopes be unnecessarily raised or lowered. The truce, announced by the Foreign Ministry in Saigon, and later supported by an announcement from President Nixon in the United States, is the shortest at Christmas for several years. The Viet Cong, who normally observe a three-day truce, had earlier announced a similar 24-hour Christmas truce. Despite the massive bombing raids by United States' aircraft over North Vietnam, military activity in South Vietnam has been at its lowest level for several months, and many South Vietnamese servicemen have been seen off duty with their wives and girl-friends in the streets of Saigon. Previous Christmas and New Year ceasefires have always brought allegations of violations from both sides, and late on Christmas Eve(24 Dec), the South Vietnamese military command claimed that the Viet Cong had already violated their own truce in 32 separate incidents.
SYNOPSIS: The South Vietnamese capital, Saigon, showed little reaction this year to the announcement from the Foreign Ministry that 24-hour truces would be observed at both Christmas and the New Year. The inhabitants have long since learned to live a day at time....not raising or lowering their hopes unnecessarily. Earlier in the week Christmas shopping was continuing as is normal with the approach of the festive season. Despite the massive bombing raids over North Vietnam by Untied States' aircraft, military activity in South Vietnam has been at its lowest level for months, and many South Vietnamese servicemen have been seen among the crowds in Saigon....shopping with their wives and girlfriends.
Away form the capital, government troops have been moving with caution along the roads and Highways. Similar Christmas and New Year truces had been announced by the Viet Cong, but each year brings its spats of violation accusations from both sides, and these South Vietnamese soldiers were still on the alert.