Tuesday, May 17, 2011
(PICTURE: The Arlington of Vietnam.)
As an American, the hardest place to mentally travel through was the center of Vietnam. It seemed that every road we were on would have some monument or cemetery dedicated to those who died fighting America. It often seemed that the small the town, the more people who had died during the war.
On multiple occasions, Huyen and I were passed by vans filled with family members who had just recovered a body from the war. Furthermore, there were lots of roads we drove down that had bomb craters in the fields. One time on the road, there was a sign that warned people there were still land mines in the area. At another point, a woman told us that the area around us had all been doused with Agent Orange during the war.
Right around the DMZ line is a massive Army cemetery with over 10,000 people interred there who died fighting America. Huyen and I had stopped here to pay our respects and to see if by any chance her uncle's name was written anywhere. The cemetery was organized by provinces and we quickly found Ha Nam but couldn't find Huyen's uncle's name. We ended up going to the center of the cemetery, lighting some incense, placing some sticks on random graves and then leaving. It was pretty somber.