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Anniversary of a War


Used with permissions.The Chinese occupied Vietnam for a thousand years, the French for a hundred. More recently the Japanese and Americans have come and gone. Although the occupying forces left their mark on Vietnamese culture, the long struggle for independence and search for a national identity has affected the Vietnamese character. Their history has made the Vietnamese resilient, independent and above all optimistic. For whatever reason, Vietnam has had more than its share of misfortune.

 

Copyright Victoria Brooks.In March 2000, United States Secretary of Defense William Cohen visited Hanoi. This was the first time a U.S. Secretary of Defense had visited since the end of the Vietnam War. It was an effort by two one-time enemies to exonerate the past.

Joint efforts have begun to account for the 2,000 American servicemen still listed as missing in action. Secretary Cohen's trip coincided with the 25th anniversary of the war's end. It is estimated that the war took 58,000 American soldiers and three million Vietnamese (troops and civilians). Vietnam was left with one million victims of Agent Orange in its population of 79 million.

Used with permissions.By being aware of Vietnam’s difficult past and its history of wars and occupation, visitors will truly have a memorable traveling experience. In this spirit I'd like to take you through the Ho Chi Minh Museum in Hanoi (April edition) and through Saigon's War Crimes Museum (May edition).

The following photos were taken in and around Hanoi's Army Museum (Bao Tang Quan Doi).

The Vietnamese feel incredible sadness when they think about the Vietnam War. An elderly man who was visiting the museum stood proudly before a photo of himself as a young man. With difficulty he told us that he was the only one from his troop that survived. He has regrets, Copyright Victoria Brooks. but no animosity towards America or Americans. The importance of the Vietnam War to the Vietnamese is shown by the many war museums in Hanoi and Saigon. With the North Vietnamese fighting on the communist side under Ho Chi Minh and the South Vietnamese fighting under the U.S.- backed President Diem, the country was divided by the worst civil strife in its history.

An untouched Mig-21 stands at the entrance. The museum's yard is piled with the wreckage of B52s, Q2Cs and B52s -- the metal still shines deadly even if it has been dulled by the patina of time. Copyright Victoria Brooks.

Vietnamese children arrived on a windowless bus. Their field trip to the museum replaced a classroom history lesson. Copyright Victoria Brooks.

A young girl tries desperately to sell baguettes through the iron fence surrounding the museum. Copyright Victoria Brooks.

The black and white photos located on the walls of the museum (and below) speak poignantly of the horror and pain, camaraderie and spirit that war brings to any people unfortunate enough to suffer under its black shadow of death.

Used with permissions.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Vietnam is a beautiful country – but more than that it gleams with hope and is rising like a phoenix above the ashes of war and poverty. Vietnam is an inspiration for all of us lucky enough to step foot on its rich soil.

One of 62 French aircraft shot down or destroyed by the Vietnamese armed forces during the Dien Bien Phu campaign of 1954. The sign reads: Hellcat Plane Wreckage.

Copyright Victoria Brooks.

The tourist facilities. Copyright Victoria Brooks.

Army guard poses with Ho. Copyright Victoria Brooks.

Images inside the museum:

Used with permissions.

Used with permissions.

Used with permissions.

Reporter Doan Cong Tinh with the soldiers in front of the residence of Lieutenant  Governor, Quang Tri, July 1972. Used with permissions.

Used with permissions.

Smiles under the foot of ancient walls (August 1972). Used with permissions.

Used with permissions.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 



Roughly translated from French, the sign above reads:

Mothers with the Union of French Women, demand the return of the expeditionary forces and the end of the Vietnam War.

No, you will not enlist yourself!

We are responsible for our sons. To not have to cry at their death or mutilation. Demand work in France for them.

Join the Union of French Women. Paris VIII.

Used with permissions.

Used with permissions.

Used with permissions.

Watch for Part II – Vietnam Photo Shoot: Saigon in next month's issue.

Suggested reading on Vietnam:

Buckley, Michael. Vietnam, Cambodia, and Laos Handbook, 2nd ed. Published in 1998 by Moon Publications.

Martin, Paul. Land of The Ascending Dragon – Rediscovering Vietnam. Published in 1997 by Hastings House.

This title is available in the GreatestEscapes department store at www.greatestescapesstore.com/

Airlines flying to Hanoi and Saigon include:

Cathay Pacific: www.cathaypacific.com/

Malaysia Airlines: www.malaysiaairlines.com/

Singapore Airlines: www.singaporeair.com/

Thai Airways International: www.thaiair.com/home.htm

Vietnam Airlines: www.vietnamair.com.vn/vnhome.htm

An untouched Mig-21 stands at the entrance. The museum's yard is piled with the wreckage of B52s, Q2Cs and B52s -- the metal still shines deadly even if it has been dulled by the patina of time. Copyright Victoria Brooks.

Vietnamese children arrived on a windowless bus. Their field trip to the museum replaced a classroom history lesson. Copyright Victoria Brooks.

A young girl tries desperately to sell baguettes through the iron fence surrounding the museum. Copyright Victoria Brooks.

The black and white photos located on the walls of the museum (and below) speak poignantly of the horror and pain, camaraderie and spirit that war brings to any people unfortunate enough to suffer under its black shadow of death.

Used with permissions.

Vietnam is a beautiful country but more than that it gleams with hope and is rising like a phoenix above the ashes of war and poverty. Vietnam is an inspiration for all of us lucky enough to step foot on its rich soil.

One of 62 French aircraft shot down or destroyed by the Vietnamese armed forces during the Dien Bien Phu campaign of 1954. The sign reads: Hellcat Plane Wreckage.

Copyright Victoria Brooks.

The tourist facilities. Copyright Victoria Brooks.

Army guard poses with Ho. Copyright Victoria Brooks.

Images inside the museum:

Used with permissions.

Used with permissions.

Used with permissions.

Reporter Doan Cong Tinh with the soldiers in front of the residence of Lieutenant  Governor, Quang Tri, July 1972. Used with permissions.

Used with permissions.

Smiles under the foot of ancient walls (August 1972). Used with permissions.

Used with permissions.



Roughly translated from French, the sign above reads:

Mothers with the Union of French Women, demand the return of the expeditionary forces and the end of the Vietnam War.

No, you will not enlist yourself!

We are responsible for our sons. To not have to cry at their death or mutilation. Demand work in France for them.

Join the Union of French Women. Paris VIII.

Used with permissions.

Used with permissions.

Used with permissions.

Watch for Part II Vietnam Photo Shoot: Saigon in next month's issue.

Suggested reading on Vietnam:

Buckley, Michael. Vietnam, Cambodia, and Laos Handbook, 2nd ed. Published in 1998 by Moon Publications.

Martin, Paul. Land of The Ascending Dragon Rediscovering Vietnam. Published in 1997 by Hastings House.

This title is available in the GreatestEscapes department store at www.greatestescapesstore.com/

Airlines flying to Hanoi and Saigon include:

Cathay Pacific: www.cathaypacific.com/

Malaysia Airlines: www.malaysiaairlines.com/

Singapore Airlines: www.singaporeair.com/

Thai Airways International: www.thaiair.com/home.htm

Vietnam Airlines: www.vietnamair.com.vn/vnhome.htm