Monday, December 22, 2008

Vietnam - 1969

“Have you seen the PHOTO from Vietnam where a police man, in civilian clothes, is shown in the very act of blowing out a man’s BRAINS?”

The man is kneeling and his face shows clear awareness of what is about to happen.

“Was the executioner even brought to trial?”

“There is a girl grown up in Canada who survived being on fire”.

“How did she catch fire?”

“This was not spontaneous combustion … the Air Force was throwing NAPALM …
the ground troops and tanks were spewing this fiery sticky petroleum product and the little girl was caught in the photographer’s lens – she was certainly under ten years of age – and the fall of Saigon was underway”.

“She was fleeing from the pain … her clothes had been burnt off her …”

JULY 1969

“Why are you in Vietnam?”

It was the question that I asked every American I could speak to ….

Friday, 16th May 2008

Before this Friday night I had never heard face to face a Vietnam War miracle story … and had not imagined that she would tell it “as it happened”. After all it was the first time we met!

“My father worked in the Capital city … it was not Ho Chi Minh City until the fall of Saigon”

“Father worked in an accountant’s capacity … when Saigon fell he started to feel threatened and he moved us; the family included my two other brothers and my mother and I”.

“How did you escape from Vietnam?”

“We paid in gold for a passage in a fishing boat”.
“There were about 180 passengers … we knew the great risks we were facing … the sea pirates had much larger ships and they were well armed। A lot of the refugee boats were boarded; the men were killed and thrown overboard. The women and girls were USED and then disposed of”. I forgot what she told me about the small children and babies.

She continued …

“One of the boats decided to fight back. They collected weapons. They tried to fight back … but the pirates brought in two much larger ships and they towered over the small refugee boat”.

“Then the pirate ships came together thus crushing and crunching up the small boat like you demolish a cockroach underfoot …”

“No one escaped …”

“Were there sharks in the Indo China Sea?”

“Yes” … she said quietly … sadly.

“Did you have to face these pirates?”

“It is a lucrative profession … to attack, abuse and rob defenseless persons …”

“We were lucky … or perhaps there was SOMEONE watching out over us. We were sponsored by Canadian churches. Many of our people were brought to New Liskeard.”

“You mentioned that you were in a refugee camp for three months … please tell me how you were selected by the Roman Catholic Church?”

“My father spoke fluent French … this was the reason the Catholic Church accepted us so quickly …”

“It was the year 1976 … we were placed in different villages near New Liskeard.”

“Did you retain your language?”

“Very little, really,” she said. “I cannot write it and there is no community where I work.”

“Where do you work?”

“At St. Joseph’s Sleep Lab in Toronto.”

I ask the names of some cardiologists and discover that two of them Dr. S. and Dr. R. who I knew in the 1970’s – 1990’s are still there!!!

“So your sleep patterns are not normal … did you sleep this night?” I asked her.


“A question about your family – would you tell me about them?”

“Yes, my brothers are doing well.”

“and your parents?”

“Mom and Dad moved south from New Liskeard to North Bay – half way closer than New Liskeard “

“Do you see them often?”

“They drive down once a month to visit me …”

“I should like to get your father’s story.” I said to her.