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Keith B. Richburg: An unlikely bond is forming across the Pacific

Signs and decorations commemorating the 40th anniversary of "the liberation of Saigon" are a common sight in Ho Chi Minh City. (Photo by Ken Kobayashi)

HO CHI MINH CITY -- Four decades after the end of a long and costly war that left countless dead and a generation scarred, the U.S. and Vietnam are drawing closer together economically, culturally and strategically. The new embrace has happened faster than anyone on either side could have imagined when the last American helicopter lifted off during the panicked final scenes that marked the fall of the old Saigon regime.

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