Special Report from Fishtrap Summer 2001 - The Legacy of Vietnam
Fishtrap which began in October 1988, is a place where writers, poets, editors and readers from around the world to attend workshops, and join in discussions about a themed topic. In the summer of 2001, the theme chosen was “The Legacy of Vietnam”. This topic discusses how the Vietnam War changed the country and how it impacted the lives of returning Vietnam Veterans and how families dealt with the death of husbands, sons, and/or fathers who were fighting to keep our country safe.
Jose Ramos’ detailed account of what he witnessed when he saw two children running from flames from bomb is compelling. Faster and faster the flames were getting closer to the children, and then he sees the older one slows down out of exhaustion. She pulls her sister until the flames are wrapped around them. To this day, Jose Ramos sees those running children in his dreams every night wondering who they were and if anyone remembers them or thinks of them. That kind of horror never leaves a person. It is embedded in his mind forever.
David Schmitz considers Henry Kissenger and Robert McNamara knowing in 1968 and 1969 what was transpiring in Vietnam and how America was losing the war, but more and more troops were sent there to fight and destroy until 1973. Why would our government, knowing what they did, prolong the war?
The discussion by Pauline Laurent about the wives of Vietnam Veterans was so powerful to read. It gave a mental picture as to what families had to endure while their husbands, sons, or fathers were fighting and dying for our country. One could feel what the wife was going through as she seen a United States Army green sedan pulling up to her home, and the fear of the officers as they made their way to the front door. She knew what was coming next. Why else would they be there? It made your heart sink when the officer rang the bell and announced, “We regret to inform you that your husband……” you...