THE WAR NOT WORTH REMEMBERING
I didn’t think I would or could ever say this but I have come to believe that there is not one thing worth remembering about the Vietnam War. Oh there are many events I can’t forget. Some I wish I could and of them there are many which no one should forget. We should never forget the men that died in Vietnam. How could you if you were there? How could you forget those nights thinking will I die tonight or tomorrow? Who will be next? Will it be the man next to me?
As a helicopter door gunner I for one can’t forget the fear I felt when I heard a pilot scream I’m hit or taking fire. I can’t forget picking up the wounded or the dead bodies we carried back to base. I can’t forget the blood I washed from the helicopter floor or from me. I can’t forget the smell of the battle zone. The dead bodies I saw after the battles. I can’t forget the protestors that met our flight as we returned home. I can’t forget how I left my young wife at home, as I stayed out drinking at night… trying to forget… forget the war not worth remembering.
Sometimes I still wonder why I came home and others didn’t. For many were better men than I. Many were better educated and their belief in God was stronger. Many came from better backgrounds and had a much better chance to do better in life than I.
I didn’t know why many a people turned away when the subject of Vietnam came up in small talk but I do now. Many just don’t want to hear anymore about the war not worth remembering. They seem to want to wish that war away. Many that were there would like to wish it away. But they can’t forget. They can’t talk too much about it. That is if they were the few in combat which faced death and seen death. However there are those that talk freely about their heroic events in war. They claim medals they never received and they tell war stories that never happened. Maybe this is why people turn away when the subject of Vietnam comes up?
So let us forget that war and let history tell the story of Vietnam. Maybe some authors in the future will get it right. My fear is the truth will never be told, because some have created their own history – the history of the war not worth remembering.
©Copyright 2006 by Johnny Hutcherson