“This cemetery’s precisely ordered gravestones reminds me of our own Europe and Asia,” Tallon said. “These people were their heroes who died driving out the foreign invader. A little like Iraq and Afghanistan — or for that matter the War of 1812 in our area.
“It all depends on the perspective.”
“What impressed me,” Pete said, “was the spread in ages on the gravestones. From young teenagers to the 60s. Most of our dead were of draftee age, 18 to 22.”
This secondary route back to Ho Chi Minh City eventually opens up on the new skyline of a modern city.
It no way resembles the Saigon of the 1960s, when the Caravelle Hotel, at 10 stories, was the tallest structure in town.
During the Vietnam War, John Conroy served a 15-month tour with the U.S. Army in Bien Hoa, just north of Saigon. More recently, he has traveled with Army soldiers in Iraq and Afghanistan and shared his inside perspectives of the war with Press-Republican readers.
RETURN TO VIETNAM
This is the first of a short series of columns by John W. Conroy as he and three other veterans from the Plattsburgh area tour Vietnam.