|Byron Edgington's Return Visit to Vietnam - 1992|
It was, admittedly, one of the stranger experiences of my life when the airplane stopped at the gate, and I looked out the window at a sign that said: "Welcome to Hanoi International Airport."
I stayed in Hanoi two days, visited Hoan Kiem Lake in downtown Hanoi made famous by a certain Naval aviator who parachuted into it in October 1967, a fellow named John McCain. I drove by the old central prison where McCain spent the next six years as a POW, the infamous Hanoi Hilton. I went to the mausoleum where Ho Chi Minh lies in state, guarded day and night by the same North Vietnamese soldiers whose fathers likely took pot shots at me.
With a car and my interpreter, I traveled around my old AO, visited what’s left of Camp Eagle, (my old base), and toured the old city of Hue’. From Hue’ & Phu Bai I drove south, across the Hai Van Pass, into Da Nang, then to Marble Mountain and Hoi An. The accommodations were first rate, roads (mostly) excellent and when I went in October, the weather was perfect.
The people I met were incredibly friendly, welcoming, warm and happy to see a returning GI. They were of another generation, mostly, so the war was a memory to them at best, a lesson in school for the most part. For those who lived through it, they seemed willing to discuss it, but preferred to move on to what the new Vietnam looked like.
So despite the fact that Vietnam is still very much a communist, one-party country, it has recovered very well from the years of war and sacrifice, and is taking its place in South Asia as an economy to be reckoned with.
The War That Will Not Let Us RestWar: A Waste of Youth
The Right Seat is the Wrong Seat
Jim, Frank, and The Snake
Smokey, The Alcoholic Pup
The Sky Behind Me: A Memoir of Flying & Life
“I am only one, but I am one. I can't do everything, but I can do something. The something I ought to do, I can do, and by the grace of God, I will.” ~Everett Hale
Add your opinion, thought, or comment, about this post. You are also invited to write about anything you want to share. Send it to me in an e-mail and I will be proud to post it for you.
Memoirs From Nam is YOUR blog.