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Thirty years ago today

This beautiful icon was made by cannons_fan for the TV show Lost.  It seemed appropriate for today's post.

I know there are people on my flist who weren't even born in 1975, or who were too young to know what was happening in the world then.  For those of us of a certain age, however (particularly if you're American or French), does "Saigon" ring a bell?  Thirty years ago today the city fell, and the last American troops were evacuated by helicopter from the grounds of the American Embassy.  Remember the photos?

Vietnam was my generation's war, and to me, America's conflicts since then have seemed trivial in comparison.  Perhaps it's just the fact that I came of age during that conflict; that I was at university when the protests were going on; that I knew boys who were drafted and went to fight and ... sometimes ... didn't come home again.  Perhaps it's the fact that I remember the lies the politicians told us about Cambodia, and the horror that was born there and that we later learned to call the killing fields.

I'll be watching movies this weekend -- Apocalypse Now, The Deer Hunter, Full Metal Jacket, The Killing Fields -- as many of them as I can bear -- and I'll be remembering.


May. 2nd, 2005 10:18 am (UTC)
Re: the difference of a few years
Well, it's a little like me being at Chapman instead of at Berkeley, or Harvard, or any of the large universities where the antiwar protests were so fierce. A small, private, liberal arts college -- we had a few lunchtime student antiwar rallies, but that was about it. Classes went on as scheduled, the administration buildings remained in the hands of the school administrators, no flags were burned, etc. Pretty much business as usual. And by the time Phnom Penh and Saigon were lost, I was already out of school and working.

Question for you: Do you remember what it was like the year you were in Heidelberg? Were they even paying attention to the war in Europe (always excepting France)?
May. 2nd, 2005 12:32 pm (UTC)
Re: the difference of a few years
Celia again. If you think Chapman was conservative, try Pepperdine! We were a small, conservative, Christian college. I tell people I did the 1950s three times: living through the actual 1950s, then living in Orange County during the 1960s, then being at Pepperdine during the 1970s.

As for Heidelberg, the main thing I remember is that the graffiti you saw everywhere in Europe was political in content. But since I didn't speak German I don't really know what the general attitude was. Also, Heidelberg was a big American military base at the time, and I don't know how that affected things.