Friday, April 25, 2008

Moving on

In 1968 I was 9 years old and living a comfortable life in rural NSW pretty much oblivious to the international situation.

image: robynejay

Here in Hue it was the scene of the Tet Offensive. With US forces focused elsewhere, for 3 1/2 weeks the National Liberation Front flag flew from the Flag Tower and Hue's 'uncooperative elements' were shot, clubbed to death or buried alive. It's estimated that 2500 of the town's merchants, monks, priests, intellectuals and government workers were killed.

With the South Vietnamese army unable to dislodge the Viet Cong and Nth V, the US army was called in. Huge areas of the city were levelled and in total around 10,000 killed.

It was a little surreal to walk a city with so recent a violent past. We gave Dong to a guy minus his legs, and passed hawkers selling military paraphenalia.

In the Imperial Enclosure tourist dollars are rebuilding and restoring the 1803 structures. French, US and Australian visitors are welcomed with smiles and grace.

No comments: