In the mosaic of nations and cultures, each individual seeks a footing, a place to anchor their identity, values, and contributions. For Vietnamese Americans, especially those of the first and 1.5 generations, the monuments commemorating the Vietnam War across the United States are more than mere stone and metal. They are symbols of grounding and origination, connections bridging two worlds, each with its own essence and narrative.
GROUNDED – Establishing a Solid Foundation
Vietnamese Americans, particularly those born and raised on American soil or those who migrated at a young age, face a distinctive journey – navigating through the rich tapestry of Vietnamese heritage while intertwining with the freedoms and opportunities of America. Using the Vietnam War monuments as grounding spaces, where roots are acknowledged and respected, enables a cultivation of strength and identity through the amalgamation of histories, losses, triumphs, and hopes.
GOD – A Guiding Principle
Faith, in its various manifestations, has been a guiding principle for numerous Vietnamese Americans. Regardless of religious adherence, having a spiritual anchor, a moral compass that directs actions and decisions towards a path of integrity and righteousness, is intrinsic. Monuments, thus, can also be spaces for reflection, where gratitude is expressed towards divine forces that have safeguarded and guided the journey from war-torn lands to realms of liberty.
Origination – VIETNAM
Vietnam, with its vibrant cultures, tales of valor, and resilient spirit, is the origination point of a community that has now spread its wings across the globe. The Vietnam War monuments in the USA are not only a remembrance of a historical period but also an eternal flame that honors the spirit of Vietnam within every Vietnamese American. It is a reminder that the Vietnamese community has a unique place and space within the American narrative, where memories are preserved, and legacies are built.
FREEDOM OF USA – Celebrating Liberation and Opportunities
With the bitter-sweetness of history, Vietnamese Americans have sipped the elixir of freedom within the USA. The ability to speak, to express, to pursue dreams, and to carve out a destiny is a treasured aspect of being in a land that prizes liberty. Utilizing the monuments as spaces to celebrate freedom, to acknowledge the sacrifices that enabled current privileges, and to pledge an ongoing contribution towards maintaining these liberties is paramount.
In due course, the veterans of the Vietnam War, like all veterans of past conflicts, will transcend into history. However, the monuments, these silent sentinels of stone and metal, will persist, whispering tales of valor to ensuing generations. The Vietnamese American community, with its vibrant youth and promising future, will live on.
Utilize these monuments as campgrounds, where gatherings, reflections, and collective visions for the future can be shaped. Let them be roots, where despite being physically away from the homeland, the spirit of Vietnam pulsates vibrantly within every heart. Let them be establishments where future generations find their grounding, ensuring that the Vietnamese American narrative continues to blossom, contributing richly to the beautiful diversity of the United States.
The monuments stand as testimony, as grounding points, from which the Vietnamese American community, while cherishing its roots, can continue to thrive, contribute, and ascend in the USA, crafting a future that harmoniously entwines two distinct worlds.
In essence, the Vietnam War monuments are not just for remembrance – they are a base, a physical and symbolic space, where grounding, faith, acknowledgment of origins, and the celebration of freedoms converge, propelling the Vietnamese American community into a future where their roots are honored and their wings unbound.