Today was… well, weird. Then awesome. ..then wierdly awesome. By that I mean that today was a national holiday called “Reunification Day”
In the history of Vietnam, April 30th, 1975 is the day that marks the fall of Saigon government, ending the Vietnam War and reuniting the North and South. We’ve been watching men and women in straw hats prep for this occasion by decorating the parks with red banners and yellow flowers, beautiful but as Americans we felt somewhat uncomfortable as we walked around the city today, then we quickly realized that Noah had on his battle dress uniform (BDU) pattern Seahawks hat so maybe the more serious stares we received was a fashion / cultural faux pas?
We observed lots of older Vietnamese BDU’s which was plain green with no pattern. We walked a tree lined sidewalk (loving the sidewalk situation here!) and ironically we came across the Vietnam Military War Museum which was packed with locals and foreigners alike. Outside the museum walls, we came across a book seller who we said “no, thank you” too and he shouted “Americans! They’re over here!” and ran behind his bike pretending to shoot us. Noah fell over to feign being shot and *end scene* he laughed and shook our hands, we laughed and walked inside loving our dark humor but also realizing that many years before us that scene played out for real. There was no laughing then.
We walked into the museum and were too cheap to pay the $3 admission this time around so we just walked around the street and saw some of war relics through the bars of the gate. We saw downed U.S. bombers and Soviet technology. It was amazing to see the American tourists alongside the Vietnamese and all their children were playing hide and seek around the tanks. Laughing is the same in any language and it was strangely beautiful.
Also, did you know that Vietnam / Ho Chi Mihn and the U.S. were BFF’s during WW2? We even supplied them aid and weapons to fight off the Japanese that occupied Vietnam! *mind blown* It’s hard for me to even fathom us fighting against the Japanese and walking around this city, seeing the smiling faces and knowing that men I love and care about were ordered to once bomb the train station Noah and I stood in today is equally unthinkable. War is fucking stupid and I’m so grateful to the peacemakers in the world who hit reset and moved on. Tanks are a better hide and seek playground anyway, the children showed me that today.