Thursday, October 27th, 2011 – Good Morning Vietnam!
When we first got on this ship last month, at one of the events all the men and women who were retired military were asked to stand. We were amazed at the number of men and women who stood up along with Bill. In talking with some of them we learned that a lot of them served in the Vietnam War and this was their first time back. Many of the men were very emotional about it.
There was one man in particular who was stationed in Nha Trang which is where our ship docked. He had made a huge banner that said “All Sacrificed Some, Some sacrificed all” and he put a bouquet of flowers on the sign. When we returned to the ship later that afternoon there were 8 or 10 bouquets of flowers placed on the banner.
Nha Trang, Vietnam was beautiful – very few large buildings and no skyscrapers. The beaches were gorgeous in contrast to the extreme poverty. Many of the people spoke English which was nice even though it was broken and sometimes hard to understand.
Everywhere I looked I felt the ghost of the Vietnam War, not that there were any obvious reminders other than the memory of those in my high school graduation class in 1967 who were sent to Vietnam and never returned home. You could feel the apprehension and emotion felt by our fellow cruise passengers who were returning for the first time since they were stationed in Vietnam during the war.