April 30, 2015 1:28 PM EDT

It has been 40 years since the spring day when the last U.S. helicopters lifted up and, shortly after, the North Vietnamese army entered Saigon, deciding a conflict that had raged for years. News photographs from the time showed the world what was going on, from a country full of death in all its gruesome forms to peaceful protests across the ocean. Despite their age, those images have not lost their impact.

Read more: Former TIME staffers recall their evacuation from Saigon in 1975

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