San Jose CA, USA
I took these photos during a visit to Vietnam is 2007. I was a boy
during the Vietnam War, but I remember the evening news coverage, the
nightly body counts, and the now historic characters facing off on
television. I grew to appreciate how iconic photographs could shape
public opinion. I live in San Jose, California, where there is a large
Vietnamese community. The war is still a very sensitive subject for
Vietnamese Americans. I learned on my visit to Vietnam that the
Vietnamese have let the war fade from their daily life. Apart from the
occasional tourist souvenir, the American was is not in their daily
life. They have moved on and hold no ill feeling towards their former
enemy. That war 35 years ago is now just a few tourist attractions.
Photo 1 was taken at the war remembrance museum, a ramshackle museum full of old military equipment and some photographs. Most of the tourists were Western. The other two photos were taken at Reunification Palace, formerly the Independence Palace, home of the South Vietnamese president. It is most famous as the site of the handover of power after the war, and the site of the North Vietnamese Army tanks crashing through the gates during the fall of Saigon. It now hosts tourist groups and families looking for the last vestiges of the war.