What I’ve seen of Vietnam so far is beautiful and hospitable.
But the past is real and haunting. And bloody.
I was only a child. What I remember is every night on the news. Huntley and Brinkley telling the story. Cronkite introducing Rather in the field. ¬†Black and white images of soldiers, helicopters and dead people.
Not dead soldiers as much as dead Vietnamese children, women and elderly. The casualties were unbelievable.
These are my childhood memories of growing up in the 60’s and 70’s as the war played out on our black and white TV each night.
I didn’t understand it then. I still don’t understand it now. For what? ¬†More than 50,000 American soldiers dead. We learn this in school. But what about 3 million Vietnamese dead? ¬†And most importantly 2 million of those innocent civilians who were in the wrong place at the wrong time. Some tortured. ¬†Some shot point blank.
When you visit Ho Chi Minh City, the former Saigon, you must visit the War Remnants Museum(formerly called the American War Museum and the War Autrocities Museum). Although I had to walk out of part of the museum
because it was so horrifying. What war does. What we do when we are at war. What we do to each other to impose your beliefs.
All of these lives. Gone.
I didn’t understand it then. I still don’t understand it now. For what?