The U.S. Secretary of State and tears of Vietnam War


                                 Secretary of the States John Kerry at the Vietnam War Summit

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry had shared sincerely about effects of Vietnam War on his life and the experience of being a soldier and an anti-war activist.
At a seminar on Vietnam War named “Vietnam War Summit” in Texas, Mr. Kerry had to stop his speech to calm himself remembering his famous saying when testified before a Senate Committee in 1971. At that time, he was just come back from Vietnam and become a leader of anti-Vietnam war movement of veterans.
“In 1971, when I testified against the war in Vietnam before the Senate, I spoke of the determination of veterans to undertake one last mission so that in 30 years, when our brothers went down the street without a leg or arm and people asked why, we’d be able to say “Vietnam” and not mean a bitter memory,” he said. At this point, he stopped and took a sip of water, trying to hold his tears. He barely shares his anti-war time with the public.
“It was not a bitter memory but meant instead the place where America turned, and where we helped it in the turning.” he said.
The US Government has awarded Mr. Kerry with many medals when he was a naval officer on Vietnam front. However he left the army and became one of the most famous anti-war activists, led an anti-Vietnam war rally in Washington in 1971 and condemned the war as “barbaric” one before the Foreign Relations Committee of Senate.
Then, as the senator of Massachusetts, he had contributed his effort to the normalization of the relationship between the two countries for 10 years. In the speech, he called American to set asides the lingering pain and the war’s separation to look forward. He recalled the collaboration with Senator John McCain in the investigation of the prisoners of war, climbed up dangerous places where the US aircraft fell down to search for the remains of soldiers. Their effort had paved the way for the normalization of the relationship with Vietnam.
“For those of us – John McCain and myself particularly as we approach the issue of normalization with Vietnam – the accounting for POW/MIA was absolutely a prerequisite and non-negotiable. But this process of accounting, frankly, tells you something not only about us as Americans and our keeping faith with those who fall in battle; it also tells you something quite remarkable about the extraordinary openness of the Vietnamese people, who helped us search for the remains of our fallen troops even as the vast majority of theirs – a million strong probably – would never be found. They allowed helicopters to land once again unannounced in hamlets that brought back bitter memories of the war itself, and I remember negotiating with them to permit us to do that because we had to have the element of surprise in order to prove to people they weren’t moving people from where they were being kept. But the Vietnamese did so because they wanted also to move beyond the war. They dug up their fields and let us into their homes, their “history houses,” their jails. On more than one occasion, they guided us across what were actually minefields.”
Mr. Kerry said he is one of the lucky soldier came back from Vietnam. “I am now in a position of responsibility, to live those – to live my beliefs and to live my lessons” he said.
Mr. Kerry is now with President on the Vietnam visit to highlight the shared economic and strategic interests between the two countries, 41 years after the war.
There are hard choices still to make for our relationship to reach its full potential, but now we can say definitively – because so many Vietnamese and Americans themselves refuse to let our past define our future – Vietnam, a former adversary, is now a partner with whom we have developed increasingly warm personal and national ties” he said. “That is our shared legacy, and it’s one that I hope we will continue to strengthen in the years to come.
The Vietnam War Summit seminar had been held for 3 days by Texas university and President Lyndon B. Johnson library to give unhesitating look about the war to American./.

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