Lest We Forget: Not Only Soldiers Die in War

Posted on January 4, 2011

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Terrified Vietnamese Civilians in City of Hue 1968

A visit to the Vietnam Veteran’s Memorial is apparently a powerful experience.  Nearly 60,000 names of all the American dead in Vietnam inscribed on two walls which are approximately 250 feet long apiece.  Another similar memorial of similar length could, if someone wanted, commemorate the North Vietnamese soldiers who died in that war.

But, more importantly, there were 3.4 million Vietnamese civilian casualties in the  War, the vast majority of whom were killed by the American military.

If we were to build a Vietnam CIVILIAN DEATH Memorial on the same scale as the Veteran’s Memorial, it would consist of 114 walls, not two.

Strung end to end, these walls would stretch almost eleven miles.

Another set of walls, commemorating the civilian dead from the Laos and Cambodia, would stretch perhaps another eight or nine miles.

I have two generations of soldiers in my family.  They would insist that we remember the civilian deaths.