Picking up the remnants of Vietnam War

by saynotospandex

Being a history buff, I was really looking forward to visiting Vietnam.

Vietnam War was one of the most painful and heartwrenching period of Vietnam’s history since it was built. In this Cold War conflict, nearly 3-4 million Vietnamese lives were taken away in a senseless fashion as US escalated their forces and involvement.

Located in Ho Chi Minh city, the Vietnam War Remnant Museum was my favourite part of the trip. Many military equipment which were abandoned by the US troops were placed on display on the museum grounds. These include fighter planes, bombers, and tankers.

It was fantastic walking through these exhibits; it’s almost as if we’re getting a slice of history!

Indoors, we were treated to a vast collection of war graphics. Some of the images framed were actual last shots retrieved from war photographers who had died in action.

Robert Ellison was one of the photographers who became casualty during the Vietnam War, while in action. Below is one of his famed shot of a US Marine.

Grief manifested itself in various forms. From the sad, longing eyes of a weary soldier who had no wish to take part in the war to painful tears of a prisoner begging for mercy seconds before he was shot.

My heart literally bled when I saw this photo.

Photos of the “eating machines” engaged in Vietnam War.

Chemical warfare was commonly used during the times of Vietnam War – “Agent Orange” or dioxin was used to wipe out hundreds of thousands of Vietnamese in one sweep. Nearly 4.8 million people were exposed to Agent Orange.

Deaths was common, and so were the numerous health problems and birth defects associated with Agent Orange. Working as a herbicide, Agent Orange was also used to remove the dense foliage in the jungle to prevent Viet Congs ambush attacks, and to deny them from their source of sustenance.

These words from a Korean veteran left the biggest impact on me:

“What am I?

Nor a hero nor a criminal, but a victim of the history. The body fatally damaged from Agent Orange.”