"" Writer's Wanderings: In My Lifetime--Viet Nam Perspective

Saturday, November 24, 2007

In My Lifetime--Viet Nam Perspective

It's been a month since I've posted--a very busy month. We were traveling in Asia. A land tour as well as a cruise that took us through China and on to Taiwan, Singapore, Hong Kong, Japan, Thailand, and VietNam. Surprisingly, our favorite two stops were in Viet Nam.

Perhaps our interest was peaked most in Nam since we lived through the Viet Nam war era. I remember holding our breath through the draft lottery that would determine our future. Bob's number was high enough to make it possible to ensure he would finish school and we could continue with our plans for the future.

I recall the nightly reports that more than any other war brought home the sacrifices we were making. Then there were the protests, the draft card burnings on campus, and the young men who fled to Canada to avoid the draft. Viet Nam was certainly devisive in those years.

Our two stops in Viet Nam were quite different. The trip to Ho Chi Minh city gave us a glimpse of history--remembering the pullout of Saigon, the mass evacuation by helicopter, the war headquarters. Our other excursioin took us into the countryside where we met more closely the people of Viet Nam. Our hearts were touched by their lives as they shared customs, lifestyle, and traditions with us.

But what will stay with me are the words spoken so profoundly by one of our guides. "When people say Viet Nam they mean a war but Viet Nam is a country." Yes, a beautiful country with some very beautiful people.

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