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

vietnamese in america

USS Gary crew members Chief Petty Officer Marcos from San Diego California, right, and Petty Officer First Class Ricky Laroya from San Diego, left, react with Vietnamese school children during a visit to a school for underprivileged children in Ho Chi Minh City, Thursday, March 31, 2005. It's a symbol of just how far the two former enemies have come in their reconciliation since the Vietnam War ended 30 years ago when the U.S.-backed South Vietnamese capital of Saigon fell to northern forces on April 30, 1975. (AP Photo/Andy Eames)
(AP Photo/Andy Eames)Used for commentary purposes only
Recently, I was out on a morning jog and it happened to be the 30th anniversary of the fall of Saigon. I passed some Vietnamese veterans across from the Vietnamese embassy in San Francisco who were waving the old Vietnamese flag along side scores of American flags. These were mostly vets who fought in the South Vietnamese Army: the ARVNs as we vets know them. After the war, if they remained in Vietnam, they were sent to re-education camps.

(1) We had made promises to them and then we hung'em out to dry. (2) The Vietnamese are not crying in their beer, the vast majority of them have made a great life for themselves in this country.
When Saigon fell on April 30, 1975, I was a student at the Command and General Staff College at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas. CGSC is designed to teach the future commanders of the Army tactics, leadership skills, and how to run the Army.

On that day; however, they took a step backwards and went into what we call hull defolade--hiding. Denial was rampant. The students were forbidden to even speak about Vietnam, as though it didn't or hadn't existed. If I had my time to go over, I would have resigned my commission that day and left the Army. It was a shameful time.

However, what CGSC did was what the country did: deny; and, in a sense, discount and dishonor the noble sacrifice of American soldiers in Vietnam and the absolute abandonment of the Vietnamese people. We had made promises to them and then we hung'em out to dry. I often wonder where we might be today had we done the honorable thing and not cut and run.

I don't know. What I do know; however, is those Vietnamese that I talked too, waving the American flag, are patriotic Americans and in a sense, much "bigger" people than we are as a nation. For those of us who care, we ought to be ashamed.

The Vietnamese are not crying in their beer, the vast majority of them have made a great life for themselves in this country. But, our decisions about Vietnam serves as major regrets and there's no denying that fact. God bless America.

Related Article:The Anniversary of the Fall of Siagon


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
May 02 2005
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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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