RANGER AGAINST WAR: Memory of the Army <

Sunday, May 28, 2017

Memory of the Army


Statue inscription:
"Cemetery for the Memory of the Army"
(trans. by Phil Nguyen, Morrow, GA)
_____________________

{this entry is a re-post from Jan 23 2012.}

This picture of the Vietnamese "Cemetery for the Memory of the Army" was snapped in 1970, and Ranger has never seen the subject in any of the photo histories of the Vietnam War.

This cemetery was the Vietnam equivalent of our Arlington National Cemetery. Note the caretaker squatting at the left of the statue. There was also a religious shrine at the rear of the statue, on a hillock. It was located in Tu Doc on the road to Saigon, South of Long Binh and Bien Hoa. There is a military base to the right and rear of the highway.


Always one of my favorite photos, the cemetery was a scene that few U.S. soldiers saw or appreciated. The South Vietnamese lost many men in the "American War", and this burial place commemorated their losses.
 I passed by often but rarely saw anyone visiting the grave sites.

Ranger has never seen a war memorial which features a sitting soldier. Does this symbolize the exhaustion of a nation which had been fighting for decades at that point? Is it a gesture of reverence?

I won't know, because fellow veterans returning to Vietnam as tourists report the graveyard has been bulldozed, and is now planted with fruit and nut trees. 
The symbol and artifact has been lost to history; the bodies must still be interred there.

There are no bitter memories or hatreds associated with my experience in that foreign land. I have always wanted to share this view of the other side's trauma, which no doubt looked very much like ours when you get to the level of the dirt.

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3 Comments:

Anonymous David said...

Fascinating.

I have a vague memory of reading that a Vietnamese army veteran who made it to the U.S. was trying to get a replica of this statue built for a memorial in California, but it was a few years ago and might be unrelated.

Sunday, May 28, 2017 at 3:23:00 PM GMT-5  
Blogger mike said...

Jim -

Thanks for sharing this. Like you, I have NO bitter memories or hatreds of Viet-Nam. My two and a half tours there gave me an awareness of the generosity and humor of the average Viet in the countryside. That despite their often toxic leadership in Doc Lap Palace.

I made some friends there. None got out that I know of.

There is a cemetery here dedicated to that same cemetery you mention. It is in the Southern California desert on highway 395 near the town of Adelanto. I do not know if they ever got the money to replicate the statue.

Monday, May 29, 2017 at 11:40:00 AM GMT-5  
Blogger NaRong said...

I have a vague memory of reading that a Vietnamese army veteran who made it to the U.S. was trying to get a replica of this statue built for a memorial in California, but it was a few years ago and might be unrelated.

goldenslot
gclub online

Tuesday, June 13, 2017 at 7:33:00 AM GMT-5  

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