February 09, 2005
John Moore, in an email to me, wrote that "It is amazing to me that you don't harbor resentment of the US, because we betrayed you, costing your family horribly." Old Patriot, in a comment below, said that "As a Vietnam veteran, I'm always embarrassed when I meet a Vietnamese -- we (the United States) failed your nation and your people so badly." It breaks my heart to hear such sentiments. Please, please, do not feel like that. How can I possibly harbor resentment toward America when she has produced good and honorable men such as those two? And America did not betray South Vietnam; some Americans did. Millions of Americans served in a noble cause to save South Vietnam, including more than 58,000 who made the ultimate sacrifice. How can we Vietnamese ever repay those debts?
Not only that, America gave millions of Vietnamese refugees and immigrants a second life, literally. As I mentioned before, I came here as a penniless refugee, but now have a good job, a nice house, and most important of all, I have complete freedom. I now live a typical middle-class life. A rather ordinary life. Except that it's not ordinary at all. It's a miracle, thanks to America. I, like countless other Vietnamese, hit the jackpot in the lottery of life. Hundreds of thousands of Vietnamese boat people perished in the South China Sea for a chance at the "simple" life that I have.
I'm genuinely touched. My father spent a year in Vietnam, before things got really bad. It was a fairly mundane assignment, not very dangerous at all, but he met lots of people there, and he liked them.
He told me that the Vietnamese he knew deserved much better than they got. "We let a lot of people down." He will enjoy reading this.
posted by Justin on 02.09.05 at 10:20 PM
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