Reflections by Anh Lê: How Can We Say Thanks For Your Service & Turn Away
COMMEMORATING MEMORIAL DAY 2020: REFLECTIONS
BY ANH LÊ:
Today, we commemorate Memorial Day.
We honor those who have served in the military, and who have died during their military service.
We also honor all the children, women, and men, who have died during war, casualties of wars which they did not ask for nor created.
We honor the soldiers who died in World War I and World War II.
We honor the soldiers who died in the Viet Nam War, the war which ended on April 15, 1975.
We honor the soldiers who died in the Iraq War.
We honor the soldiers who died in the War in Afghanistan, a war which continues and is the longest war for the U.S.
In the Viet Nam War, almost 4 million Vietnamese were killed. 58,220 American soldiers died.
In the War in Iraq, more than 1 million Iraqis were killed. Over 4,500 American soldiers died.
In the War in Afghanistan, over hundreds of thousands of Afghans have been killed and injured. The numbers are probably much higher. Over 2,500 American soldiers have died.
In both the Iraqi War and the Afghan War, the United States president ordered the invasions of both sovereign nations.
In the Viet Nam War, I commemorate not only the deaths of all the Vietnamese who were killed, I also commemorate and honor the memory of Dr. Pham Van Can, my mother's youngest brother, whom I called "Cau Can," my dearly beloved "Uncle Can."
"Cau Can" was the top graduate of the School of Dentistry at the University of Saigon. He never got to practice dentistry, as he was drafted into the Army of South Viet Nam.
The last photo of my "Cau Can" that I remember seeing, showed his handsome, kind, and bright face, just the way I remember him when I was a child and he took me to play at the Saigon Zoo and we walked together along the large tree lined boulevards of Saigon and he bought me ice cream treats.
"Cau Can" was killed at a restaurant in Saigon when a bomb there detonated during the war. His beautiful young wife, "Co Nhung" ("Aunt Nhung") was seriously injured, and she became widowed.
Their young son, "Dung," sobbed over his father's coffin when he saw it. "Dung"
Yesterday, on May 24, on the full front page of The New York Times, is printed the names of 1% of the nearly 100,000 Americans who have died from the COVID-19 corona virus during this pandemic.
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COPYRIGHT ANH LÊ:, MAY 25, 2020