Memorial Day-2005
vietnam map

That poem about where “poppies blow”

And, “the crosses, row on row”

Still rings true, these ninety years

After written, still brings tears.

We still have Dead, “amid the guns”

And lose our young and our loved ones

Those who lived, “short days ago”

Who, “felt dawn, saw sunset glow”.

In Flanders Fields, “the poppy red”

Still grow near where the blood was bled

They, “Take up our quarrel with the foe”

And still die for Freedoms that we know.

They pass, “The torch” to, “hold it high”

And not, “break the faith with us who die”

For they, “shall not sleep, though poppies grow”

Beneath all those, “crosses, row on row”

In Flanders Fields.

Del “Abe” Jones

vietvet war anniversary gif

A U.S. Marine helicopter lifts off from the landing pad atop the U.S. Embassy during the evacuation of Saigon Wednesday, April 30, 1975. That day 30 years ago a rear guard of 11 U.S. Marines, their escape covered by tear gas and smoke grenades, jumped aboard a U.S. helicopter, the last remaining American troops to leave Vietnam. It ended a painful and divisive American era of involvement in Vietnam. (AP Photo/phu) Email Photo Print Photo
A U.S. Marine helicopter lifts off from the landing pad atop the U.S. Embassy during the evacuation of Saigon Wednesday, April 30, 1975.(AP Photo/phu)
Today, April 30, we commemorate the 30th anniversary of the end of the Vietnam war. Wow! Thirty years is a long time. I can hardly believe it and there are times that it seems like only yesterday.

Like many Vietnam vets, I think of Vietnam mostly every day. Why? I don't know! Maybe because in one way or another, it has effected my life in very profound ways. When Saigon fell and the war ended in 1975, who was the victor and who was the vanquished? Maybe all of us were simply victim. It really is a matter of perspective. More than 58,000 American troops died and countless Vietnamese on all sides. It was a "sorry" war. If you've seen documentaries like The Fog of War or read as many books as I have about Nam, you fully understand how perspective is the key element.

I've read a few articles extolling everything from the fact that Americans made every village a "My Lai" to the fact that the real heroes were those protesting on the streets of Berzerkeley. Well, it may be a little of each. But, I can tell you this: my perspective is the real hero was the American GI. The Vietnam vet fought two wars and that is undeniable. One in Vietnam and another here at home. It wasn't pretty by any stretch of the imagination.

The Vietnam vet can take solace in the fact that he paved the way for the "support the troops" mantra sung today from such disparaging forces as politicians to Jane Fonda. These youngsters in Iraq don't have to deal with support issues. It took Vietnam for most Americans to realize that soldiers were just doing their jobs. The politicians representing our country sent us to Vietnam. It was not our choice. Once there, we performed heroically without fanfare or parades upon return. For most, they went back to living. For scores and scores of others, Post Traumatic Stress became their lives. For a long time, they didn't know what it was and nobody on the government side would admit it; the scars linger today.

Vietnam and its aftermath has not kept us as a country from being stupid. We've in a war today without much of a mandate, mixed public support, and a financial a disaster! And, instead of creating a greater sense of safety, the war has produced the opposite. We never learn! So, as we pony up to say, it's been thirty years, we can't say, "thanks for the memories" rather please let's not make Iraq any more Iraqnam than it already is. And, next year at the year 31 anniversary of the Vietnam war, let's have the troops home based on our own choices. God bless America.


gobe lopes Tribute to California WW11 hero- Gabriel Lopes. Gabriel skipped his high school graduation ceremony because he wanted to enter the army asap. His Mother accepted his diploma for him. Father, Businessman, Friend from Rio Vista, CA. Gabriel Lopes Tribute
April 30-May 1 05
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Vietnam War Anniversary
It’s been thirty years ago
Since the Fall of Saigon
But for so many who were there
That War still Rages on.

Some things have gotten better
And for some Time has Healed
But there are some Memories
That will Never be Revealed.

We turned our back to those Who went off to Wage our Fight
And we blamed our Soldiers When we decided, it not Right.

We must never let our Nation
Blame it on the Fighting Man
Who goes off to do the bidding
Of our Leader’s War Time Plan.

The Years may Ease the Pain
And blur Memories, but yet
That Shame of our Country
We must Not, Ever Forget.

More than fifty-eight thousand
Etched in that Mourning Wall
With more added all the time
Until the Last of those Souls Fall.

A Small Monument to Heroes
From that War of Yesterday
Where we Honor our Soldiers
In the True, American Way.
Del “Abe” Jones

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