All Unquiet on The Abroad Lines
After more than three decades, a virtual coming back my old highschool on a website, because of my sincere idea in a « forum» with all the so--called «old friends» of my once--upon--a--time lost paradise & promised land, I became a helpless mark shot in a merciless manner by their «code--name» & «code-- number».. ..! On behalf of the Truth, this event became the (n--1)th accident between the multipath of multiside bullets .. ....
This poem was inspired by Remarque's All Quiet on the Western Front, PCT Veteran Phan Nhat Nam's The Summer with Red Fire, Tran Hoan Trinh's poem entitled « For Where Leaving School» and website «A Time to Be at PCT ...» & its forum
Convinced to enlist with the South Army by one of youthful idealism: Freedom
With the enthusiasm of youth, we left schools (1) for entering military academy and army
It is noble and good to die for Freedom for our Fatherland
Convinced to enlist with the North Army by one of youthful idealism: Independence & Unification
With the enthusiasm of youth, we left schools for going to the South or joining guerrilla area
It is noble and good to die for Independence & Unification for our Motherland
Oh! Our Love for schools was not complete !
«The last hour at school, I was silent and immobile to enregister for the last time all images of my class, teacher and friends ...
My heart with restless seawaves in the last class which would be over soon and I left my school life forever to enter that War» (2)
I said farewell to all ... farewell to all beloved
Forgetting horrors of modern and mechanized warfare, we romanticize that War .. ..
We meet each other at the most terrible apocalype rendez--vous ....
Horrors of war, values of friendship, and many life lessons
We confront each other at Vey Village of Khe--sanh, An--Khe, Darto ....
How that War has changed us from innocent schoolboys into men
Killing and watching killing as we lose friends as well as the brother--enemy on the other side
And how we did want Peace again in the front line
And how we wanted to return home to our families and our normal lives
Our Motherland/Fatherland becomes no man's land ...
That War affected the many young men who enlisted soon after only graduating from high school
We witness our friends dying in that War, one by one, and wonder what the future will hold for those who survive
Hopes and Fears
Loss and Sorrow and Depression
A lot of our friends in both sides did not survive
And those who did live with the horrific memories of their experience
Our friendships of old school's classmates and comrades in arms
The beauty of being young and strong
The terrible waste and loss of a generation.. ..!
The war ended on April 30 1975
But it left an immortal forget--me--not in our Generation and our hearts
We survive and are able to tell with open arms and open mind
that War to our children and grandchildren
that war is not a means to an end ....
Nguyễn Hữu Viện