Wednesday, April 06, 2005

Viet Nam

A couple nights ago, I found myself crying when I was researching for a paper on the last consequences of the war in Viet-Nam. My heart grows continualously anxious aboutViet-Nam (in an awesome my heart is going to break and my life is going to change sort of way). Me and Jesus had an awesome conversation the other morning. I cannot begin to explain to you what He is doing to my heart and how He is transforming my mind concerning this trip- to the vastness and creativity of His creation- that He is the God of all nations and all people, that we can have so much and still possess nothing if we do not live for Him- and they can have nothing and still possess everything! My focus is drifting away from my own bellybutton and my heart is in pain- and its so sweet. I find myself part of a war that was way before my time and it hurts me and i'm torn by it. I'm working hard and learning and enjoying it. It is so sweet. My prayer is that He would break my heart and in so doing so that I could be His vessel. I'm not going over there to or with the intention to "save lives," but I pray that in so transforming my own, that I could live openly and change and grow with another nation of people.

One of the places I am most excited about visiting is the My Lai Masacre Memorial in Son My Village. The masacre was the single most shameful chapter of America's involvement in VN. The objective of going into My Lai was to go in, remove the civilians, and find the Viet Cong insurgency. This however was not what happened. Sparing the gorey details, a body count of over 500 civilians was totaled. This included women, children, elderly, and infants. The civilians were brutally raped, shot, stabbed, set on fire, and tortured. Not one GI was shot. It took over a year and a half for the United States Government to pursue any sort of justice for these actions. Of 25 men eventually charged with murder, only Lieutenant William Calley, leader of the first platoon into My Lai, was found guilty. First sentanced to life in prision with hard labor, it was scaled down to 20, than 10. After three days Nixon put him on house arrest and he was parolled three years later. Today Calley is a Jewler in Columbas, Georgia. Two of my friends here at school know his family. He has a son about my age. It all blows my mind. When Calley was being prosecuted much of the country wanted to see him executed, labeling him a monster and a bloodthirsty murderer, others saw him as a victim, and still others saw him as a hero. Where I can not explain the deep fear and pain I feel for the hundreds of thousands of Vietnamese who were killed, I equally can not understand the emotions of the soldiers, especially Calley. All these new questions of what is murder, who are the victims, what are they victim to, what is reality? All of them spinning. I cannot judge Calley or any of those men. I wish I could meet Calley. Unlike Trip in my class who I hope doesn't find out where he is living because i'm afraid he really will kill Calley, I really just have a deep interest in his story...I'm rambling I know...my mind is so strewn apart and this is just how it is coming out...this is such an inefficient way to express myself....

1 Comments:

At 12:24 AM, Anonymous Lauren Morrill said...

Blair,

Hey, I just saw your facebook profile and linked to your blog. I too am a history major and my focus is on modern american. i took a class about vietnam and it ripped my heart out. i totally feel you. i am extrememly jealous of your trip to vietnam. i hope you have an amazing experience and i will be praying for you as you go. i know we weren't close in high school, but i just thought i'd say hey and good luck!

-lauren morrill

 

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