Lest we forget

I tend to avoid most of the pomp and ceremony that tries to illustrate the depth of feelings on 11 November, Veteran’s Day, celebrated in the US and other countries under the names Veteran’s Day, Armistice Day, and Remembrance Day. The overall idea is/was that the Great War, WWI, was to end on the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month of 1918. And that was to be it. No more wars. Obviously, not.
The video here is not in celebration of that day; it celebrates instead ANZAC day, celebrated as a public holiday on 25 April in Australia and New Zealand. So why do I reblog this several days later? I believe it addresses the universality of feeling about the horrors and senselessness of war that is not tied to a specific day or nationality or time of the year. As a US Army veteran of the Vietnam Conflict, it is easy to place all the memories in the US experience basket and downplay the contributions made by the individuals, civilian and military (conscription) of other nations.
As I watched this I immediately defaulted to my experience in Vietnam and I remembered the Australian and New Zealand soldiers serving alongside the US. Also, the South Korean soldiers. Canadian Allies were there and stayed after the “end” of the US experience as their nation attempted to assume a peacekeeper role. The Philippines contributed components that included civilian support. The Thai and Lao governments contributed many types of forces that were involved in something today called a “shadow war.” The Republic of China (Taiwan) played a role as did Cambodia, always a fragmented nation that was to pay a heavy price after the US left the region.
Two other countries of the time contributed heavily; North Vietnam and South Vietnam. It amazes me that there are articles found on the web that ignore South Vietnam as a major contributor. North Vietnam is an acknowledged belligerent but when tallying the forces fighting with South Vietnam, I have noticed “the South” omitted. As a father of several Vietnamese-American children (and husband of their mother), I feel sad about this failure to acknowledge the contributions of a group of people, civilian and military, who died for an ill-defined cause.
All of this goes back to the universality of everyone caught up in this final, insane activity that occurs when diplomacy fails. Remembrances can occur anywhere and anytime. There is plenty of insanity to go around. And it continues.
So, I reblog this. Lest We Forget. Thanks, Angie Trafford.

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