Sunday, April 16, 2006

Vietnam War Museum

Saigon, Vietnam, March 20, 2006

We just finished our tour of the Cu Chi Tunnels. As we were leaving, we saw a huge crocodile on display. I have no idea why this reptile would be here, but that was just the kind of day it was. If you look at the 'Cu-chi Tunnels' post, you will find the same guy in the background of another photo with exactly the same expression on his face. I find myself feeling the way he looks. This is just such an intense day.

We left the Tunnels and our bus took us to the Vietnam War Museum.

The Museum includes a large lot filled with U.S. Military vehicles and Armaments. This is Paul. He's from California. I walked through the Museum with him. It was an amazing experience to look though the displays with an American. We saw photos of Napalmed bodies and bombed out villages. We read the pleadings from the Countries of the World, begging the U.S. to withdraw from Vietnam. As Paul and I walked along from room to room, reading and looking at the pictures on the walls, we didn't say a word.

This is one of the fighter Jets abandoned after the War.

This is the helicopter that was used as the modern 'Cavalry' for the American soldiers, as depicted in the movie: 'We Were Soldiers'.

The photos and stories we saw were horrendous. But the most disturbing thing to me was to watch a class of eight and ten-year-old Vietnamese students walking through these same buildings with us and see the same photos. I saw some of the children walk away from the walls of photos crying. Some just refuse to look. I wish they weren't here looking at this.
In Vietnam they call this the 'American War'. I lost track of Paul as I finished walking through the displays and caught up with him outside. He was sitting on some steps looking drained and upset. He said to me: "I feel so guilty for what my Country did. I just don't know what to think."

1 comment:

happygecko said...

Thanks for the piece on the museum. I have a passion for researching the Vietname War and I am keen to visit this museum after reading.

I also run a voluntary Interactive Vietname Timeline in case you are interested.