"Sharing can be a way of healing. Grief and loss can isolate,
anger even alienate. Shared with others, emotions unite
as we see we aren't alone. We realize others weep with us."
~Susan Wittig Albert

Through our writing, we walk out of the darkness into the light
together, one small step at a time, recording history, educating
America, and we are healing.
~CJ/Todd Dierdorff

Sunday, October 5, 2014

Ho Chi Minh: by Byron Edgington

Huey and Byron Edgington

Here’s a quote from history. See if you can discern who said it, and when:
“All men are created equal. They are endowed with their creator with unalienable rights, and among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.”
Thomas Jefferson, right? The American Declaration of Independence. Right?

Well, yes … but I’m not quoting Mr. Jefferson here. Those same words were used in Ba Dinh Square in Downtown Hanoi, on September 2nd 1945, by a fellow named Ho Chi Minh.

Uncle Ho, as his countrymen called him, fashioned his own declaration after America’s. As the first president of the Democratic Republic of Vietnam, Ho Chi Minh wished to work with the American government to secure Vietnam’s independence from France, and to unite his war-torn country. Our leadership refused his petitions for assistance, because Ho Chi Minh referred to himself as a communist.

Under the category of "Things I wish I’d known fifty years ago", I add the biography of Ho Chi Minh. This semester, I'm enrolled in a course at Ohio State called The History of the Vietnam War

The course covers not just the American War between 1945 (true story) and 1975, when Saigon fell. It covers almost a thousand years of warfare in Vietnam, from the Chinese occupation, then the French, then the Japanese during World War 2, then the French again, then America’s presence.

Ho Chi Minh - 1946
What I’ve learned thus far is astounding, and a bit humbling. For one thing, had we worked with Ho Chi Minh after 1945, and helped him to secure Vietnamese independence from the French, as we did for the Filipino people, American history would be far different. The scar of our misguided efforts in Vietnam might not haunt us still, fifty years after the fact.

In addition, the more I study that ill-fated adventure, the more I look at current engagements with increased skepticism. George Santayana once said, 
"Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it."
Perhaps our schools would do well to teach students more about our misadventures than otherwise, especially those involving foreign leaders who reach out to us, only to be turned away in their time of need ...

Byron Edgington
The SkyWriter

Author, Byron Edgington

“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

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  1. This story is so true! Twice we bailed out France WW1 and WW11. France was using the people of Vietnam as slaves. Looking back we should have sided with Vietnam instead of France. They got their asses kicked and then we went in. France has stabbed us in the back many times -- our so called friends! --Allen J. Folk

  2. This is a very enlightenment post to me, these are things I didn't know. I haven't heard of this book before now. I plan to look deeper into this in the near future. Thanks for the knowledge.

  3. From someone of french decent, you need a history lesson as to the help to the collenies, remember the collenies? ! If it weren't for France your taxes would go to England, or Spain! Get it straight!

  4. Actually, some of us DID know this at the time of our service. Just added to the sense of futility. We fought to keep our comrades alive, not for the glory of the flag.


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