I have been listening to a CBC radio series on The Current about Vietnamese people who escaped Vietnam after the war was over. We all saw the miserable little overloaded boats that carried people to other countries where they were held in camps. Slowly the world organized and these people were taken by countries around the world. Countries were uneasy about taking the boat people as they thought they would be an expense. They turned out to be anything but an expense and contributed to the local economies. Many communities have very active Vietnamese communities.
Today I was reminded that the Vietnamese war ended 40 years ago today. I will never forget the chaos shown on TV of the last Americans leaving Saigon as fighting continued all around them. I looked on with horror as I saw people try to escape by hanging onto the helicopter as it lifted off.
The country was left in ruins and with it's own civil war.
I also thought back to what a very terrible war this was in so many ways. Many troops and civilians were lost. Many troops came back and suffered horribly for the rest of their lives.
The war ended and Vietnam was left with many problems and a very harsh ruling government. The two sides were still very angry with each other. After Ho Chi Minh died things slowly began to change.
When I think back I have a hard time to think about the cause of the war. It's difficult to remember why the Americans entered the war.
Since I was a little news junkie nerd, I remember the French in Vietnam. Vietnam was a French colony. The French were booted out of Vietnam in the 50's. That was also a long drawn out and brutal conflict.
One can only look back with sadness at the horror that took place in Vietnam. Have we learned any lessons from Vietnam?