A Better War
War never dies, especially not for the vanquished.
As the scars of Vietnam heal in the United States, American veterans and anti-war protestors have begun to come together to memorialize what is remembered as a pivotal turning point in American society.
However, there is little healing to speak of among the Vietnamese-American community; while Americans returned from war to a changed society, the South Vietnamese lost their homes, their livelihoods, and their country. The Vietnamese diaspora continues to bear wounds that cannot be healed, for as long as they remain in the United States, they face a Vietnam they cannot yet reconcile with.
Even as second- and third-generation Vietnamese-Americans become businesspeople, legislators, soldiers, and citizens, they remain a figment of the conflict which ripped America apart. The Vietnamese are often only described in the context of the war and their escape from that war. The history books continue to deny them the agency in defining the event which made them who they are today.
Here, we'll dive into the stories of the Vietnamese Vietnam War generation, their children and grandchildren, in order to explore a side of the Vietnam experience all too often ignored and forgotten by popular history.
The author is a second-generation Vietnamese-American. Having grown up among primarily white Americans, he didn't become interested in his dad's war stories until college, where he immersed himself in the history of the war. Thanks in part to a supportive sister, he decided that a good New Year's resolution might be this blog.
He resides in Northern Virginia, enjoying all of the culinary perks that living near a vibrant Vietnamese-American enclave provide.