I wrote this for CORE Viet Nam, 27 Nov. 2012.

I’ve been promoting the trip in March for nine months now so I have talked to a lot of people about it and I have done a lot of listening. There are myriad reasons to go and not to go but one in particular interests me. It has to do with memory.

“I will never go there.”

“I will go anywhere but there.”

“Once was enough.”

“I’m just not obsessed with it.”

“We have just … moved on with our lives.”

All of these, and others like them, came in response to a simple invitation: to travel with a group to Viet Nam. Now, admittedly the invitation was specifically about visiting in the company of “veterans and civilians” but what these reactions reveal is this: the Vietnam War is not over.  (more…)