REFLECTIONS ON MEMORIAL DAY
As we celebrate Memorial Day and honor those who have perished in war, I think not only of American servicemen and servicewomen, I also reflect on the life of my uncle, Dr. Pham Van Can, who died during the Viet Nam War.
My uncle Can was killed in Saigon in 1970, when a bomb detonated at a nightclub restaurant, with his wife present. The bombing occurred during U.S. Senator George McGovern’s visit to Saigon. Senator McGovern strongly opposed the U.S. involvement in the Viet Nam War.
The evening news in the U.S. that day reported that the South Viet Nam government blamed the “Vietcong” for the bomb detonation.
One can be skeptical of the news report.
I do not know who really planned that bombing that killed my uncle Can.
This I know: When my uncle was killed, his young son was orphaned. His son sobbed, as he embraced his father’s coffin. My uncle’s wife was widowed, and she was seriously injured from the bomb blast, her face severely deformed.
My uncle, who had been drafted into the South Viet Nam Army, was serving in the military. A top graduate of the University of Saigon School of Dentistry, he never had a chance to practice dentistry when his life was cut short.
The Viet Nam War was a tragedy.
Let us reclaim our belief in the sanctity of human life. Let us turn swords into plowshares. Let us work for peace in our world.
San FranciscoFiled under: Letters to the Editor