Thirty-five years ago today, Saigon fell to the communists.
I just finished reading Goodnight, Saigon, by Charles Henderson. It is the story of the last months of the Republic of South Vietnam, and specifically of the last American troops there, including the last 11 Marines who were flown out under fire as the NVA and VC swarmed the city. While the book tended to wander at times, it managed to convey the sense of betrayal that all Americans should feel at our abandoning our loyal supporters to the hands of the communists. Many died; others spent years in 're-education' camps; families were separated, women and children were abused and tortured, and most had to fend for themselves as homeless on the streets of the newly-named Ho Chi Mihn City.
What have we learned from this? Will it speak to our current engagements in Iraq and Afghanistan? Or will we again call the blood of (then 58,000, now close to 4,000) American troops wasted by walking away when we can't have what we want right now?
I pray we learn from our history rather than choose to repeat it, and may God bless those men and women who were left to fend for themselves when we lost our moral resolve to stay the course. And thank God for the Marines who didn't lose their moral resolve to fight the fight!