Tuesday, April 13, 2010

A Visit to Viet Nam in March 2010 - Impressions I

In March 2010 we traveled through Viet Nam - a journey through the past and the present of a country that was in the news every day when we, my husband and I, were young, living in Chicago from 1965 to 1970. Time witnesses, we remember being introduced to catch phrases like Body Count, we heard, saw and knew about Danang Airbase and Ho Chi Minh's trail, the Demilitarized Zone and the Tét Offensive. So it was, in many aspects, a trip into our past, a trip to see Viet Nam's development since the war - American war for the Vietnamese and Vietnam war for the Americans (officially called a conflict) - witness the present and hear of Viet Nam's plans for the future.
Accompanied by a very knowledgeable Vietnamese guide half our age, we stood at the gate of the Independence Palace, remembering the famous photo of PAVN tanks breaking through the gate, "the NLF flag was raised over the Palace at 11:30. At 15:30, Minh broadcast over the radio, stating "I declare the Saigon government... completely dissolved at all levels. (See: Fall of Saigon). The dissolution of the South Vietnamese government effectively ended the American/Vietnamese War", 35 years ago on April 19, 1975.


Sarah said...

This was a war that affects many. As teen, I didn't quite understand and couldn't accept. Like visiting Pearl Harbor, I imagine I would get equally emotional. Seeing vets were at that war on the street everyday saddens me...mainly because we haven't learned from the past!

Laura said...

Sadly I agree - we have not learned from the past. Pete Seeger's song comes to mind: Where have all the flowers gone... when will they ever learn!