Falls Church, Virginia, US & Vietnam
In 1975, I was learning about the Vietnam War and the fall of Saigon from the safety of Mr. Margolis' Senior high school history class in Richmond, Virginia. At that time, my wife, her parents, brother and sisters had a more concrete perspective of the war while they survived hardship in the countryside, waiting to return to their bombed-out home in the city.
As a result of working within the Vietnamese-American community since the early 1990's and visiting Vietnam four times since 1997, I now have had experience with Vietnam that could never have been imagined in 1975. I am proud to share both American and Vietnamese traditional cultures with my wife.
She is a member of a new generation coming of age in Vietnam. They are a highly educated and highly motivated generation that is eager to join the international community. They are people with a progressive, forward-looking view.
Unfortunately, it appears that both the Vietnamese and the U.S. governments cannot evolve from their wartime mindsets. As with the war, the governments make decisions and the people lose.
I hope that one day this generation of both American and Vietnamese people,as well as succeeding generations will enjoy an open exchange of visitors, ideas and commerce to the benefit of both.