Saturday, June 2, 2012
Yesterday, Bruce and this year's Tours of Peace group visited An Loc. During the war this was an area of severe fighting. Many lives were lost on both sides, but it was at a memorial near the mass graves of more than 3000 Vietnamese that the group participated in a special rite of remembrance, lighting incense and offering prayers led by their Vietnamese hosts.
The school building in the top right corner of the collage, still shows walls riddled with bullet holes.
The journey has once again been one of healing and reconciliation.
All of this has been made possible through our dear friend and colleague Le Ly Hayslip, with whose organization Global Village Foundation we have worked for several years, delivering portable libraries to remote schools. Le Ly made all the contacts and organized with local people to ensure that the ceremonies were enacted according to tradition.Her efforts have created a rich experience for the returning American veterans, their family members and survivors. ( check the webiste for GVF on the sidebar)
It seems apt that as the 40th Anniversary of the Reunification of Vietnam and the end of the long and bitter war approaches, that both sides gathered together to remember the dead and to hope together that "never again" will so many lives be sacrificed.