Tag Archives: Vietnam War

OPINION: “Lessons Learned” Hide the South Vietnamese Perspective

On this 45th anniversary of the twelve-year war waged in Vietnam, we’re presenting voices from those belonging to the community most impacted by the war, and who remain an integral part of our city — Vietnamese Americans. Locally, the Vietnamese community has created a thriving Little Saigon in what were once abandoned and dilapidated buildings around Seattle’s 12th and Jackson. 

They have also built businesses and homes that helped revive the White Center neighborhood. Because of the generous sharing of their culture and cuisine, every high school student knows that a banh mi is a great after-school snack, and pho has become a household word. 

The Vietnamese community continues to touch every aspect of our society, from artists, composers and writers to doctors, nurses and other health care workers on the front lines of the coronavirus pandemic and all walks of life. In the past few days, the War has been mentioned only in the context of the deaths from the coronavirus surpassing the number of American deaths in Vietnam.
 
To reflect upon the past and contemplate the future, we share two voices from local second-generation Vietnamese Americans who have distinguished themselves in their work and community volunteer efforts — and who bring their unique perspectives on a war with ongoing repercussions: State Senator of the 34th District, Joe Nguyen, and longtime journalist and Vice President of Community Engagement & Marketing for the Washington Technology Industry Association, Julie Pham.

by Julie Pham


It’s April 30, and this year marks the 45th anniversary of the Vietnam War. Typically, this anniversary invites a flurry of opinions on “lessons learned” from the Vietnam War (just Google it and you’ll see what I mean) coupled with how those lessons should be applied to whatever foreign military, political, diplomatic situation the U.S. is currently mired in.

As a trained historian, I object to the practice of extracting “lessons” from history as if it’s possible they will keep us from sacrificing future lives and wreckage. Wars are not the result of faulty human strategy. Wars exist to challenge excess and unchecked ugliness within humans. It’s too easy — and arguably manipulative — to see a “failed” venture in hindsight and say, “we should have known better.” We live to learn from our failures. 

Continue reading OPINION: “Lessons Learned” Hide the South Vietnamese Perspective

45 Years After the Fall of Saigon: A Coming of Age

On this 45th anniversary of the twelve-year war waged in Vietnam, we’re presenting voices from those belonging to the community most impacted by the war, and who remain an integral part of our city — Vietnamese Americans. Locally, the Vietnamese community has created a thriving Little Saigon in what were once abandoned and dilapidated buildings around Seattle’s 12th and Jackson. 

They have also built businesses and homes that helped revive the White Center neighborhood. Because of the generous sharing of their culture and cuisine, every high school student knows that a banh mi is a great after-school snack, and pho has become a household word. 

The Vietnamese community continues to touch every aspect of our society, from artists, composers and writers to doctors, nurses and other health care workers on the front lines of the coronavirus pandemic and all walks of life. In the past few days, the War has been mentioned only in the context of the deaths from the coronavirus surpassing the number of American deaths in Vietnam.
 
To reflect upon the past and contemplate the future, we share two voices from local second-generation Vietnamese Americans who have distinguished themselves in their work and community volunteer efforts — and who bring their unique perspectives on a war with ongoing repercussions: State Senator of the 34th District, Joe Nguyen, and longtime journalist and Vice President of Community Engagement & Marketing for the Washington Technology Industry Association, Julie Pham.

by Joe Nguyen


In the past week the Vietnam War has been making headlines here in the United States, but not because it is the 45th anniversary of the Fall of Saigon. In just a few short months, the American death toll from the COVID-19 pandemic has now surpassed that of a war that spanned nearly two decades.

Continue reading 45 Years After the Fall of Saigon: A Coming of Age

Vietnamese Veterans Continue to Feel War’s Lasting Impact

by Jeff Nguyen

Every year a huge celebration for Vietnamese veterans is held in Orange County, California. My grandfather, a veteran of the Vietnam War and proud member of the Vietnamese community, watches it religiously, staring intensely at the TV set. The pride on his face is evident as the color guard marches on stage carrying a bright yellow flag emblazoned with three red stripes.

He changes the channel to watch news about Vietnam’s state of affairs. Today it’s a mix between President Barack Obama’s recent visit to eat Pho with Anthony Bourdain and the arrests of more native journalists and bloggers, their faces forming a mosaic as the network illustrates the scale of the crackdown.

In a sense, he is still home and war hasn’t ended. Continue reading Vietnamese Veterans Continue to Feel War’s Lasting Impact