Saturday, March 3, 2012


   Just north of Quang Tri province is the 17th parallel that divided Viet Nam into North and South at the Geneva accords of 1954.  Today, 37 years after the end of the war I have heard that 80% of the farmland in Quang Tri province is still contaminated with unexploded ordnance (UXO).  I Have also heard that after the end of the war approximately 100,000 Vietnamese have been killed or injured due to UXO.  I do not know the source or accuracy of these numbers.  Any is too many.
   As part of our trip north we stopped at the DMZ museum and it is a chilling reminder of the inhumanity of war.
I understand there are some Non Government Agencies (NGOs) that are working to clear the farmland of UXOs.  I am including some pictures of the DMZ here.

   Above are pictures of the DMZ crossing at the Ben Hai river.  Below is a recent picture of a little girl and I can't help but wonder....what if she was my grand daughter?  Of course the one thing we learn from history is that we never seem to learn anything from history, because here we are in Iraq and Afghanistan....just sayin'.

    Oh by the way this little girl probably never even saw an American.  She will live her whole life with the affects of a war that was over 30 years before she was born.  Sorry y'all it feels awful and wrong and fiercely sad to me.  Here I am in paradise and I am reminded of what my mission was in fuel the airplanes that dropped the bombs that are STILL doing this to people.
   Yup paradox in paradise; next vacation visit beautiful Viet Nam.
Chao tam biet

1 comment:

  1. Jim, we miss you and your wisdom, however it must be needed there.
    Bill Bondor Gleason