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Word Count: 754
For several thousand years Vietnamese Lunar New Year has been a traditional celebration that brings the Vietnamese a sense of happiness hope and peace However in recent years it also bring back a bitter memory full of tears It reminds them of the 1968 bloodshed the bloodiest military campaign of the Vietnam War the North Communists launched against the south American and South Vietnamese troops were taken by surprise by the large numbers of Vietcong and North Vietnamese Army who had infiltrated South Vietnam in the months preceding the attack Attacks were launched against US and Army of the Republic of Vietnam installations throughout South Vietnam In Saigon nineteen Vietcong commandos blew their way through the outer walls of the US Embassy and overran the five Military Police on duty in the early hours of that morning Two Military Police officers were killed immediately as the action-team tried to blast their way through the main Embassy doors with anti-tank rockets They failed and found themselves pinned-down by the Marine guards who kept the Vietcong in an intense firefight until a relief force of US l01st Airborne landed by helicopter By mid-morning the battle had turned All nineteen Vietcong were killed their bodies scattered around the Embassy courtyard Five Americans and two Vietnamese civilians were among the other dead The commandos had been dressed in civilian clothing and had rolled-up to the Embassy in an ancient truck When the fighting at Tan Son Nhut was over twenty-three Americans were dead eighty-five were wounded and up to fifteen aircraft had suffered serious damage Two North Vietnamese ArmyVietcong battalions attacked the US air base at Bien Hoa and crippled over twenty aircraft at a cost of nearly 170 casualties Further fighting at Bien Hoa during the Tet offensive would take the North Vietnamese ArmyVietcong death total in Saigon to nearly 1200 Other Vietcong units made stands in the French cemetery and the Pho Tho racetrack The mainly Chinese
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