Khe Sanh

The Battle of Khe Sanh took place in 1968. Today, there is a museum on the site of the former US Marine Camp. Inside, there are enlarged, wall-sized photos of Americans engaged in battle. The captions, translated into English from the Vietnamese, emphasize the fear of the Americans and the bravery and superior power of the Vietnamese, a kind of blatant effort to propagandize what must have been a horrific experience for those on both sides. The first time I read them, during my visit to this place in 2005, I was surprised at the crude attempt to belittle one and glorify another. The Vietnamese people I meet are so kind and gentle. I know the sentiments expressed in these captions do no represent current feelings and attitudes.

Today, I wonder what thoughts and feelings are triggered in the US veterans in my group. No one comments.

The grounds contain US helicopters, a tank, and other relics of war, as well as the preserved remains of a bunker.

I stood at this same spot in this same bunker in 2005, and had my photo taken. Nothing much has changed and everything has changed. The Vietnamese have a saying, "Same Same, but different."

I stood at this same spot in this same
bunker in 2005, and had my photo taken.
Nothing much has changed
and everything has changed.
The Vietnamese have a saying,
“Same Same, but different.”

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