Sights, sounds, images. I’ve spent 20 hours watching the PBS documentary, “The Vietnam War.” The horrors of war are now forever embedded in my mind. I lived during this time, in fact, if I had been a man, I would probably have been drafted. But I missed it. All of it. And I’m sorry I was so oblivious to what was going on.
My manicurist is from Vietnam. Her dad served in the ARVN and was relegated to a re-education camp for five years. She is one of 8 children in a family that made their way to Tucson after the war when she was 12. Through guts and hard work…education, a home, and a business are part of her family today. I have great admiration for this family, the struggles they encountered, the closeness they share, and the hope they have for their future as American citizens.
For those of you who served and endured, thank you. The heartache on both sides continues to this day. We lost many but I hope we learned much. I put my head in the sand — not intentionally — but the results were the same. No one talks much about the war that served in it but forgetting is hard. Now we have a new generation of GI’s who have seen and heard much more than they ever expected. May we treat them better, offer them thanks, and see that they get needed services as they return to civilian life.
We live in the land of the free and the home of the brave. Division threatens us today as much as it did 40 years ago. We have choices to make. Do we want another Kent State? Do we want our children and grandchildren to ask why football players are kneeling during the National Anthem? Are the police going to be worried that a gunshot will forever take them from their families? Are blacks and whites going to find peace and harmony? The Vietnam War may have started this disintegration of our society but we don’t have to let it continue.
Only God can heal our land and make a difference. As we kneel before Him, confess our sins individually and as a nation, then we can begin to see each other as brother and sister and heal the broken bonds in our land.
If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land.
2 Chronicles 7:14 (NIV)