National Vietnam War Veterans Day

Today we honor the men and women who fought in the Vietnam War. Remember their sacrifice because every one of them left a part of themselves in that war. If you are fortunate enough to meet a veteran of that terrible war or a person from Viet Nam, please treat them with the kindness and dignity that they deserve. There were no winners in that conflict.

Image Attribution

US Flags at the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Wall in Washington DC” by Au Kirk is marked with CC BY 2.0.

16 replies »

      • I’m not proud of what I did. You’ll not find me prancing around in a parade, or panhandling a streetcorner.

        The Wall is purty. Peacefull even. What’s between me and the Wall is between me and the Wall … until I breathe my last. And then it will be forgotten. It is The Way.

        Honoring dead soldiers glorifies War …

        Liked by 1 person

        • Howdy Ten Bears!

          There is a lot of grief caught up in war. Glorification and mythologizing are wrong, but grieving, which our ceremonies help us do as a large group, I think is beneficial. It’s an interesting controversy, though. People squeal pretty loudly from time to time when the Japanese emperor visits the WW II war dead shrine because Japan shouldn’t be allowed to mourn its dead? I don’t know.



    • No it is not. The Vietnam War is fixing to go the way of the Korean War, WW I, and the dodo bird. It fades into a distant memory as the vets reach the end of their natural life spans.

      It puts me of a mind of “The Sorrows of War” by Bao Ninh. A memoir by a Viet Cong soldier. It was a very moving book of an experience that was not too different from those told by the American side. I was always amazed by how matter-of-factly the Vietnamese treated Americans and accepted the American War, as they called it. The war seems to fade even faster for them, perhaps given the youth of their population.


      Liked by 1 person

      • I recall a comment by an American Vet who went to Vietnam and met some of those former enemy soldiers and was surprised by how they welcomed him and so matter of factly talked about the war. One of them explained that the Vietnamese had been fighting off invaders, the Chinese, the Mongols, The French, etc. for a thousand years, and learned not to hold grudges against the troops, but remain watchful of the leaders. It seemed sort of a, “Just another chapter in a long story with different faces, language, and weapons, but not much else new.” Now, they have China to worry about again with what it is doing in the South China Sea.

        Here, we weren’t able to mythologize that war. The closest Hollywood came was Rambo. The other movies weren’t the stuff of heroic legend – The Deer Hunter, Born On The Forth Of July, and Apocalypse Now? And MASH was set in Korea, although China Beach was Nam, but, like MASH, about the medics, not the grunts.

        Liked by 1 person

        • Howdy Bob!

          I feel like I’ve related this anecdote before, so if I have, please forgive me. In downtown HCMC, the former Sai Gon, there are two large parks with old stately trees growing in them. They are far too large for a city of that size and density to have. They have a peculiar design. The have alternating lines of walkways, green grassy “lanes,” and trees. I’ve been told that they were the old French colonial cemeteries. As soon as the American War ended, the government disinterred the bodies and repatriated them to France. They hated the French. They wanted nothing more to do with them.

          Perhaps my favorite Viet Nam War movie, besides “Tropic Thunder,” was “We Were Soldiers.” And there’s always “The Quiet American.”

          It’s hard to believe that something that was important as the Viet Nam War was to my formative years, is hardly even thought about much less understood by the younger generations. Talk about violating proportionality bias.


          Liked by 1 person

            • It doesn’t make for good marketing campaigns. There is an entire Japanese comic book industry devoted to the theme, what if Japan had won WW II, and it doesn’t imagine the dystopia that “The Man in the High Tower” does.

              TV and film play an odd role in our national storytelling. They really haven’t been around very long, and I think there is the possibility to help us process our history to understand it in a better or clearer light to put it in perspective. Many of the Viet Nam War movies helped us do that. Some of the Iraq War movies help us with that. Interesting that there have been few or no Afghanistan War movies. We had “Homeland,” but that was about it… I think. I’m not as up on pop culture as I could be.


              Liked by 1 person

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