Veterans’ Day in DaNang, 2017

Whether veterans are celebrating Veterans’ Day Friday or on Saturday, I hope the holiday is harmonious despite the awful strangeness of having President Trump honor veterans while in DaNang.   It seems like the last place on Earth where our president should be on this day but apparently the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation Summit is important to the oligarchies of the attending nations. 

President Putin is also part of the smiling cast of the characters attending the meeting. What terrible things will the press read into this handshake? 

I’m weary of reading about Russians unless it has to do with Russian ballet and music which is generally wonderful.

Photos are from Voice of America (LINK). 

Danang, Vietnam, Nov. 10, 2017

NPR: “Members of the 9th U.S. Marine Expeditionary Force go ashore at Danang, South Vietnam, on March 8, 1965. Assigned to beef up defense of an air base, they were the first U.S. combat troops deployed in the Vietnam War.” 

That air base (and others) became badly contaminated with Agent Orange however we cleaned it up before all the luminaries landed at the DaNang International Airport (NPR LINK).  Charles Bailey is an expert about the AO situation in Vietnam (LINK).  In an interview with PBS, he said that ” Da Nang was very toxic. It was 300 times the maximum permitted level for dioxin in the environment.” Bien Hoa needs to be reclaimed next because the fish are contaminated from AO and “new generations are suffering from debilitating muscular and neurological problems believed to be caused by Agent Orange dioxin.”

A cloud over this Veterans’ Day is the public clash between Sen. John McCain and Pres. Trump.  McCain is probably the best known Vietnam War POW;  all of the POW veterans, regardless of the conflict, deserve special respect.  They were tortured and starved besides confined.  His brain cancer diagnosis is troubling enough but I can’t help wondering if Agent Orange molecules are partly to blame for this and his previous cancers.

There are a lot of good military stories online today but the irony of the Vietnam meeting really hit our home.  As the old peace poster declared, “War is not good for children and other living things.”


Photograph: McCain waiting for the rest of the group to leave the bus at airport after being released as POW
Record Group 428
General Records of the Department of the Navy, 1947-2004
Citation: 428-GX Box 262 N 11556665
Rediscovery #10473


About Laura

NW Vermont.
This entry was posted in Agent Orange, All about Veterans, Food for thought, General Messages, Guest authors, History, Inspirational Veterans, Uncategorized, Veterans Day, Vietnam Disease Issues, Vietnam War history and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to Veterans’ Day in DaNang, 2017

  1. SPrice says:

    Looks like they went shopping together. They’re wearing the same shirt.

  2. Amazing that the Vietnamese People haven’t placed a Claim on the USA for the one million lost during Our “Vietnam Conflict”. Obviously this war had no winners.

    • Kiedove says:

      Yup, we normalized relations with Vietnam in 1995 and now after all the death and destruction and suffering, things are good? None of this–the start, the middle, the end, and the aftermath makes sense to me.

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