More art of the Vietnam/American War
In his interview tonight on Cosmos FM, my father reiterated his pleasant surprise at how the Vietnamese people very warmly welcomed us and other Americans, especially veterans, 40 years after the war. As I posted earlier, this enthusiasm occasionally caused some cognitive dissonance for us, as we would pass memorials and artistic renderings of the “American War,” depicting us from a far less welcoming perspective.
At the Viet Cong war cemetery near the Cu Chi tunnels, we walked along a huge sculptured wall depicting the Vietnamese struggle in the “American War.” In contrast to the discomfort we felt at the War Remnants Museum in Ho Chi Minh City and the Cu Chi booby trap painting, we found this display kind of funny, given that the Viet Cong guerrillas are shown as quite buff and heroic, and the American soldiers as pretty weak and mean.
(Click on the photo to view a larger image.)
After all these examples of Vietnam/American War art, the one that probably struck the balance between amusing and unpleasant was this poignant mural, part of several walls illustrating the history of Vietnam. Look at the expression on the American soldier’s face – to us, it seemed confused and shocked by the horrors around him, rather than callous, imperialistic or bloodthirsty.
(Click on the photo to view a larger photo.)