Marcie S. Gitlin
New York, New York, USA
October 1969: An evening candlelight antiwar March in Flushing, Queens, with my mother and brother, Ira. Flag-waving hecklers calling us commies.
January 20, 1973: Freezing in the snowy cold by the Washington monument, listening to Bella Abzug and others denounce the war, while Nixon is being inaugurated across town.
January 1996: My plane touches down in Saigon, the start of an amazing three-week journey through a beautiful and peaceful land. Sailing on the Mekong,viewing the lush green rice paddies, it's hard to imagine American bombers strafing the countryside. As an American visitor, I felt ashamed of what our country had done: the destruction it wrought and the lives it shattered. But I also felt profound respect for a people whose love for their country allowed them to triumph against great odds over enemies infinitely more numerous and better equipped. 1000 years of Chinese rule, 100 years of French domination, and 25 years of American influence were not able to defeat this poor, backward nation. I only hope I'll be lucky enough to return one day.