Examining the Tragedies of the Past, With a Bright Outlook for the Future

Day 7: Today was more of a somber day for our trip in Vietnam, but it was still fruitful nonetheless. Today we visited the Cu Chi tunnels as well as a Vietnamese cemetery for soldiers in the Vietnam War. We took an extensive look at the other side of the war, as well as what they had to say about it. The day was really interesting, as the victors do write the history books. This was directly expressed in the Cu Chi tunnels, and at the war memorial.

There were multiple moments during the tour where you could tell that this was centered more towards the side of the Vietnamese. Everything that was said was said towards the betterment of their values and civilization. They constantly called the Americans the enemy, and in some videos, went as far as to sy that people were announced as heroes because they killed so many Americans. I would feel offended, but I have to consider that we also have tons of war heroes that kill our enemies. Its interesting to the feel the perspective from the other side.

The Cu Chi tunnels were used by the Vietnamese for guerilla warfare, and to hide from the numerous bombs that were led across the area without remorse. I had the pleasure of walking inside them. I felt a little claustrophobic in the beginning, but when I finally found the right stance so that my back wouldn’t hurt, I started to warm up to them and I could travel rather fast. There were three levels in the Cu Chi tunnels, 3 meters down, 6 meters down and 10 meters down. I never got to actually see the 10 meters but I saw that these tunnels could get pretty deep and winding.

The final part of the visit was the war memorial. I felt pretty sorrowful about the whole situation. We had a little ceremony, giving incense to the graves and offering our best for them. Bu it was just tragic to see the endless rows of graves of soldiers who died for some stupid conflict. Back a few decades ago, the US and the Vietnamese hated each other. However now, the future is bright. The favorability rating of the US from the perspective of the Vietnamese is 94 percent. Compared to China, who is at 7 percent, we are doing pretty well. While Vietnam and United States may have had past differences, we now are able to carry a much more fruitful friendship in the future.

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