Saturday, April 30, 2005

John Kerry, Frank Church, Clifford Case, Ted Kennedy; The Legacy

The Seattle Post Intelligencer interviews Vietnamese immigrants on the 30th anniversay of the North's capture of Saigon. Two years after the U.S. won the Vietnam War by signing the Treaty of Paris in January 1973:

"The 'fall of Saigon' for me came ... as a child of 10 in South Vietnam in '75, I helped my mother feed and take care of people fleeing the war from the North. We didn't have much but it was more than they had, and Mother never could say no to people in need. I remember humongous pots of soups and pots and pots of rice. We even housed a famous Vietnamese movie star.

"It came when my second-oldest brother came through the front door and collapsed in my arms, scratched up and exhausted. He had lost most of his platoon and barely made it out of the jungle with his life with the help of strangers and a tart, bitter fruit that he still had in his hand. I witnessed him tell his friend's sister that her brother was dead. Her cries haunted me for years.

...."We left on a fishing boat and then went onto a barge. They were all scared and terrified. I remember there were a lot of well-dressed city folk with lots of luggage. All my mom grabbed were clothes, family china we still have, some of my dad's mementos, a stamp collection, pictures and Vietnamese money. On the big international boats, people would climb on each other in mobs. The sides broke and people fell over into the water.

"To me, what I went through that day -- as harried as it was for a child of 10 -- was a walk in the park compared to what others went through. As a parent now, I can't imagine sending my child with total strangers. I can't say that day really scarred my soul. For a good number of us, it meant a bump up in our economic status. It gave us opportunities we wouldn't have if we had stayed. It was a blessing in disguise, which sounds horrible to say because so many lives were totally ruined."

Because the U.S. Congress, controlled by liberals, refused South Vietnam the weapons they needed to defend themselves from the invaders. The true legacy of the 'anti-war' movement.

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