Today is Monday (June 30). It's
about 6:30 p.m.
we walked the grounds of the Consulate of the United States of America.
We had arrangements made to get in easily.
the wall at the point of breach, a 10 foot monolith stands commemorating
the V.C. who fell that day that changed the course of the war and
America's attitude towards it. We won the field of battle during Tet
all over Vietnam effectively putting an end to the Viet Cong war
structure, but eventually bringing in Soviet and Chinese supplied NVA and
American public opinion.
have built a consulate on the same grounds. Today hundreds of people
waited across the street as loved ones, friends, or associates were inside
applying for a VISA to visit or work in the United States of America.
The Embassy is now in Hanoi, the capital of the country.
feel blessed to have stood on the grounds that represented our efforts in
the words of President John Kennedy:
every nation know, whether it wishes us well or ill, that we shall pay any
price, bear any burden, meet any hardship, support any friend, oppose any
foe, to assure the survival and the success of liberty".
You could feel the sense of standing on sacred ground.
From one spot, I took pictures of two bangor trees which remain the
last in country witnesses on the grounds to see the Viet Cong breech the
wall and be fended off by Army Military Police, United States Marines,
American civilians and their Vietnamese counterparts.
Where I am standing was the Embassy.
I even took pictures of the ground where I was standing.
pictures of a simple black plaque with the names of the five soldiers and
Marine who died defending an Embassy, considered the soil of the nation to
which it belongs.
wall is a 10 foot monolith memorializing the Viet Cong who died.
The U.S. plaque was also outside on the wall but circumstances
caused it to be moved inside. I
was on the outskirts of the city during Tet as Americans provided the ring
of security for the Capitol City.
picture was a nearby apartment complex. I went into the
City a couple of days after Tet to see the damage. A high rise
department store and apartment building is being built on this site
reverence one feels at these sites. Many
are not marked, but you know where your base camp was, where you were when
you were involved in a scrape, where
you met a child who smiled at you during the worst of times. But this,
because of its history, is the most sacred of all.