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No need to redivide veterans with joint memorial
For the past couple of weeks, I've read, with much interest, the ongoing dialog regarding a proposed Joint American-Vietnamese War Memorial in a City of Auburn park. I've finally decided to offer my two cents worth.
As part of my 24 years in the military, I spent two tours plus a few extra days in Vietnam. Geographically, parts of the country were very pretty but practically, it was two years I felt were wasted. While half the people seemed genuinely grateful that we were there, the other half was more than happy to take what we had to offer only to turn around and help the Viet Cong. Most of the time I found it extremely difficult to separate the two halves.
Now a lot of Vietnamese are in the "promised land," and locally they want a "joint" memorial to a war neither of us wanted. I do not feel the need to be reminded of their participation, or lack thereof, and certainly don't need a joint memorial to help me remember. If they want a memorial, let them purchase their own land somewhere and build their own memorial on it.
Most of the Germans and the Japanese didn't want those wars either, but I don't recall them coming or staying in America, then wanting to erect joint memorials. They were ecstatic just being here.
The Vietnam War unnecessarily divided this country. We don't need to redivide its veterans with a joint memorial.
– Ron Jacobson, master sergeant, USMC, retired