The War Remnants Museum
Ho Chi Minh City Travel Blog› entry 21 of 23 › view all entries
On our first day in Ho Chi Minh City, weâ€™ve seen the classical Dong Khoi area and the Reunification Palace, after a few days visiting the Cu Chi tunnels and the Mekong Delta, itâ€™s time to explore the former Saigon some more.
We decide to start with the
Going to this museum however, seems an essential part of my trip through
The whole outside of the museum is full of US armoured vehicles, artillery pieces, bombs and infantry weapons that are all on display. I see countless people (mostly men) posing for a picture at every vehicle, bomb and weapon and I try to ignore the huge â€˜Why?â€™ that starts sounding in my head. If youâ€™re interested in helicopters and tanks I can understand such actions (not easily, but Iâ€™m willing to try), but these military left overs were actually used in combat. They were used to kill people. They are not props, they are not examples or anything, this is the real deal. I donâ€™t see why these people feel the need to stand in front of them, smile, and have their picture taken. Is it a testosterone- thing? Then Iâ€™m very lucky that my husband doesnâ€™t have the same odd desires.
Once weâ€™re inside, I get caught up with the many pictures and stories that cover the walls. They illustrate the
At this point I walk towards my husband and tell him Iâ€™ve seen enough, I canâ€™t watch anymore. There are two more floors to cover and if he wants to see it all, Iâ€™m fine with it. Iâ€™ll just wait outside.
I guess Iâ€™m squeamish or faint-hearted, but I cried when I walked out of the museum. I sat down on a low bench, was surrounded by those horrible displays of military vehicles and bombs, and I wept. What I had seen on those pictures inside the museum was beyond horrible, I canâ€™t believe these things were done to innocent civilians, children even.
But whatâ€™s even worse is the realization that it is still happening today. A new generation of these monsters is the
If there was anything I could do to make it stop, I would. But accept for voting for the right politicians, I have no power whatsoever. Especially since I live in a tiny and insignificant country.
I feel helpless, but at the same time I realize that although this museum tells all about the terrible things that happened during the war, the Vietnamese people do not hold a grudge against the Americans. Even though the effects of the chemicals that were spread havenâ€™t gone completely, the war seems forgiven. After three weeks in
To me, that is sheer greatness, to dedicate a museum to the historic facts and to be done with it. Therefore, right there and then, I decide this place is more about the forgiveness of the Vietnamese people, than about the atrocities that happened during the war. How weird, I just discovered beauty in the results of a horrible warâ€¦