Just twenty years after the end of World War II, the conflict in Vietnam highlighted what had become the complete upending of colonial rule in much of the world prior to the war. The United States became increasingly embroiled in this conflict in the 1960s as a proxy war for the much larger conflict of the Cold War. For, America the Vietnam conflict would drag well into the 1970s.
In contrast to the popular unity expressed during World War II, the American people, and students in particular, began to question American involvement in Vietnam. Yet, many still proudly served their country in a war that would ultimately claim the lives of nearly 60,000 Americans. In contrast to the 1940s when film footage was heavily controlled by the American government, this was a war that came home to Americans through their television sets. Unfortunately, for the people of Southeast Asia, the war was far more real and far more costly, killing millions and displacing hundreds of thousands more.