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6 - Remembering the American War in Việt Nam

from Part II - Việt Nam

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  01 October 2021

Mia Martin Hobbs
Affiliation:
University of Melbourne
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Summary

Chapter 6 examines how veterans responded to Vietnamese war memory at four key sites: the War Remnants Museum, Hỏa Lò Prison Museum, Sơn Mỹ Memorial and Museum, and Long Tân. When veterans returned to Việt Nam, they discovered that the Vietnamese narrative of the “American War” rendered them perpetrators of atrocities or, at best, passive victims of imperialist warmongering nations. While some returnees embraced Vietnamese war memory, others rejected or challenged it, and many struggled with the tensions and contradictions between different versions of the war. Across national and ideological lines, veterans displayed a selective acceptance of Vietnamese war memory, isolating elements that corroborated their memories of war and rejecting the legitimacy of others. This chapter also considers varied response to the Vietnamese erasure of veterans’ wartime allies and concludes by examining how Australian returnees increasingly approached the site of Long Tân through the Australian tradition of “Anzac” pilgrimage.

Type
Chapter
Information
Return to Vietnam
An Oral History of American and Australian Veterans' Journeys
, pp. 151 - 174
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 2021

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