Sunday, May 3, 2015
SAIGON PLUS 40
Where have all the flowers gone?
With the sadness that accompanies loss and the passage of time, the Church of the Open Road looks back on the fall of Saigon some forty years ago. We reflect on those we knew in high school who took up the call to serve – only some of whom returned home – and their brethren. We consider the impact on thousands of my generation who carry with them the memories of both gallantry and horror. We relive, through their stories, the heartbreak of that last Chinook lifting off the embassy roof leaving so many behind.
Belatedly, we thank them for their service and for their unquestioned willingness to do what our country asked of them. We pray that our leaders will somehow gather from history the wisdom to avoid such conflicts in our future.
Unfortunately, that aforementioned melancholy is reinforced by the machinations of some in Congress and the halls of power who, though old enough to have served in Vietnam, chose not to: those calling for a continued interventions in a Middle Eastern and Central Asian lands with rich heritages, exceptional cultures, ardent beliefs and righteous mores, which upon examination, are not so different from our own.
When will they (we) ever learn?
We claim to be a peace-loving people. But true instruments of peace would carry love, acceptance, and a sense of what our place in the community of nations really is. We’d need little else.
If America wishes to regain respect within the world community, we should embrace the lessons of Vietnam: reexamining whether we, as a people and a nation, are truly instruments of peace or catalysts for something else.
© 2015Church of the Open Road Press