War – Two Sides to Every Story

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20160129_140840We call it the Vietnam War, they call it the American War.  As I remember so much about this war it was interesting to see it from the other side.   My first stop was Hao Lo Prison in Hanoi – often referred to as the Hanoi Hilton.  This was a prison built by the French for Vietnamese prisoners and a large part of it is dedicated to showing the atrocities toward the Vietnamese.  There is a small section showing how it was used by the Vietnamese for POWs .   John McCain was a prisoner here.  This is a direct quote from the brochure.  “During wartime when local people faced numerous difficulties and shortages in their lives US POWs were humanely treated and were given the best possible living conditions.”  It goes on to talk about their entertainment, medical care etc. and there are photos of them playing ball, decorating a Christmas tree, opening gifts from home etc. NOTHING true.  The War Remembrance Museum was unbiased, and factual, showing brutalities from both sides. I then moved to Ho Chi Minh City.  i remember watching the “Fall of Saigon” to end the war.  Near here are the famous Cu Chi tunnels.  This was an incredible underground network that stretched for over 120 kms.   I got claustrophobia just looking at the entrances. The tunnels here have been enlarged to accommodate western tourists. The tunnels  were built by the N. Vietnamese as a defense against the S. Vietnamese, and also used against the Americans.  Now the government runs this as a very anti American  information attraction.  You can even shoot guns from that war at the shooting range.    In the end, the Communist North Vietnamese won, and renamed Saigon, Ho Chi Minh City.  I found it interesting locals still refer to it as Saigon.  Everyone I asked had the same reply.  Ho Chi Minh City is a political name – they can call it what they want – to us, it will always be Saigon.  The north may have won the war, and the Hammer and Sickle flags may fly here,  but Vietnam is still a divided country  in the hearts of those in the South.20160212_15234220160212_160417

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