Vietnam Vets will be honored tortured in Fayettville, North Carolina this November during a ten-day celebration critique of their service with the showing of two anti-war films featuring Hanoi Jane Fonda. In the home of Fort Bragg, Mayor Tony Chavonne says he wants “both sides of the story told, ” and just because the movies will be shown, “doesn’t mean the town endorses them.” Don’t miss the email contact below.
Mayor Chavonne’s “idea” is to give the veterans a proper homecoming, which they did not have after the war. From Dale Sulter, a writer for Veterans Today magazine:
“As you know, we were vilified. We were not welcomed home. And we are not now,” Suiter told The Fayetteville Observer. “I’m very emotional about this. The wounds are too deep. They’re too deep.”
Chavonne complained that the 10-day event is “not just a Chamber of Commerce rah-rah event – We want it to have substance.” The mayor said “anti-war rallies” were an important part of the story” he wants to tell.
But as envisioned by Chavonne and other organizers, the homecoming also will include perspectives from native Vietnamese, homeless Vietnam veterans and anti-war protesters.
“We’re part of that story,” said Chuck Fager, director of the Quaker House.
The organization [Quaker House] is a military counseling center supported mostly by pacifists and peace activists. It has survived in this conservative military town for 41 years.
These soldiers, marines, and other vets served our nation honorably. It’s not their fault that we had lousy leadership in Washington that lost the war.
Quaker House says they won’t force themselves into the event. ”If the mayor tells us to go away, we’ll probably go away.” So maybe we should contact the Mayor’s office and tell him to do just that. He can become contacted via email here.
In April 2010 Chavonne proposed inviting a Vietnamese city to join Fayetteville as a sister-city. American’s “most pro-military city,” said thanks, but no thanks! What is wrong with this Mayor? Oh yeah, he’s a Democrat.
This is Jane Fonda. During my two-week visit in the Democratic Republic of Vietnam, I’ve had the opportunity to visit a great many places
and speak to a large number of people from all walks of life-workers, peasants, students, artists and dancers, historians, journalists, film actresses, soldiers, militia girls, members of the women’s union, writers.
I visited the (Dam Xuac) agricultural coop, where the silk worms are also raised and thread is made. I visited a textile factory, a kindergarten in Hanoi. The beautiful Temple of Literature was where I saw traditional dances and heard songs of resistance. I also saw unforgettable ballet about the guerrillas training bees in the south to attack enemy soldiers. The bees were danced by women, and they did their job well.
In the shadow of the Temple of Literature I saw Vietnamese actors and actresses perform the second act of Arthur Miller’s play All My Sons, and this was very moving to me-the fact that artists here are translating and performing American plays while US imperialists are bombing their country.
I cherish the memory of the blushing militia girls on the roof of their factory, encouraging one of their sisters as she sang a song praising the blue sky of Vietnam-these women, who are so gentle and poetic, whose voices are so beautiful, but who, when American planes are bombing their city, become such good fighters.
I cherish the way a farmer evacuated from Hanoi, without hesitation, offered me, an American, their best individual bomb shelter while US bombs fell near by. The daughter and I, in fact, shared the shelter wrapped in each others arms, cheek against cheek. It was on the road back from Nam Dinh, where I had witnessed the systematic destruction of civilian targets-schools, hospitals, pagodas, the factories, houses, and the dike system.
As I left the United States two weeks ago, Nixon was again telling the American people that he was winding down the war, but in the rubble-strewn streets of Nam Dinh, his words echoed with sinister (words indistinct) of a true killer. And like the young Vietnamese woman I held in my arms clinging to me tightly-and I pressed my cheek against hers-I thought, this is a war against Vietnam perhaps, but the tragedy is America’s.
One thing that I have learned beyond a shadow of a doubt since I’ve been in this country is that Nixon will never be able to break the spirit of these people; he’ll never be able to turn Vietnam, north and south, into a neo-colony of the United States by bombing, by invading, by attacking in any way. One has only to go into the countryside and listen to the peasants describe the lives they led before the revolution to understand why every bomb that is dropped only strengthens their determination to resist.
I’ve spoken to many peasants who talked about the days when their parents had to sell themselves to landlords as virtually slaves, when there were very few schools and much illiteracy, inadequate medical care, when they were not masters of their own lives.
But now, despite the bombs, despite the crimes being created-being committed against them by Richard Nixon, these people own their own land, build their own schools-the children learning, literacy- illiteracy is being wiped out, there is no more prostitution as there was during the time when this was a French colony. In other words, the people have taken power into their own hands, and they are controlling their own lives.
And after 4,000 years of struggling against nature and foreign invaders-and the last 25 years, prior to the revolution, of struggling against French colonialism-I don’t think that the people of Vietnam are about to compromise in any way, shape or form about the freedom and independence of their country, and I think Richard Nixon would do well to read Vietnamese history, particularly their poetry, and particularly the poetry written by Ho Chi Minh.
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Making no excuses for Vietnam’s long history of foreign intrusion into their own dictatorships/communist control, I have had many, many Vietnamese nail techs, both male and female. They work in the salons of other Vietnamese and they eventually move on to own their own. They have harrowing tails of what it took for them and their loved ones to to slip from their home country and escape to the freedom of America. I have not met one yet that was not grateful for what our military tried to do for their country that remains under communist control today.
I don’t know what future Jane Fonda saw for these women she so poetically described, but whatever it was, it was not a life lived in freedom. The Vietnamese make friendly and industrious Americans. Our country is better for their presence.