It cannot be ignored. While it is not something we dwell on, or even think of frequently, the fact remains that we two old soldiers are in Viet Nam on April 30th – the thirtieth anniversary of the fall of Saigon. It was the end of the war, and the beginning of today’s Socialist Republic of Viet Nam.
While eating breakfast, I found this excellent story from the Voice of America.
Those of you who know me, and those of you who have read this blog over time know one of my favorite expressions is “Viet Nam is a country, not a war.” And its true – reminders of the war are hard to find, except for tourist jaunts to the DMZ or the Cu Chi Tunnels. And, its also true the Vietnamese harbor no animosity towards Americans. They got over it – America still wastes time during presidential elections harping on something that ended thirty years ago.
We will watch the elaborate celebrations on Saturday, feeling a sense of loss for those young Americans who left their blood on Vietnamese soil We know some Vietnamese in the south will not share in the joy of reunification. Yet we also see a country bursting at the seams with energy and change. We see young people moving forward at a breakneck pace that would astound most Americans.
On Reunification Day, I will remain proud of my service here a long time ago. I consider it a badge of honor to be called a Vietnam Vet.
I am also proud to be here working with the Vietnamese to move their country ahead.
I tried to be a good soldier. I am trying to be a good teacher. I am carrying out my calling. Viet Nam is woven into the fabric of my life.