History · People · Places · Travel

To the Vietnamese people, the face of conviction and resiliency

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Dreams do come true. I know because things fell into place and I suddenly found myself in your land, walking among you. I had the chance to be welcomed into your warm home, to be listened to, to be explained by, to be shown an example on how to summon the highest self to rise above such great loss and heartache.

Ho Chi Minh City was a beautiful, fresh place. It’s peaceful, clean and friendly. I neither felt out of place nor scared.

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I’ve always had a high regard for you. Your fight against the French colonialists and the imperialist Americans have always been a source of awe for me. You weren’t afraid to lose everything that’s why you came out of each struggle in victory. Until now, you’ve proven the world why you deserved such success over seemingly impossible enemies.

You won the wars. You keep on winning them by being stronger but more tender, by being firm but more understanding, by moving on but never forgetting what is worth remembering.

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I had a better understanding of what you’ve been through and who you were as a people when I was able to visit the War Remnants Museum, the Handicapped Handicrafts and the Chu Chi Tunnels. Your spirit was just amazing. How you transformed your limitations into opportunities, tragedy into beauty and strength would leave anybody speechless.

You fought in unity, rose up in unity, coped up with devastation in unity and rebuilt your country in unity. You’ve become indestructible individually and collectively.

People like you reaffirm the truth that it is possible to defeat imperialism, that it is possible to transform oneself and align it with the common good and that it is possible to create a new world order. You reaffirmed my belief that there are wars worth dying for because it’s the only way to have a chance for a better life and a new beginning.

The revolutionary history of my people has always made me proud. Then there was you. You’re a source of more profound and lasting inspiration.

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Your ingenuity, conviction and unimaginable inner strength became your most valuable weapons.

No enemy would be powerful enough to knock you down. My people has a lot to learn from you in continuing and winning our struggle. Your struggle and victory is ours and all the oppressed people of the world. Embrace us with your revolutionary spirit.

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On a more personal note, you made me realize that there’s nothing to fear and nothing to lose when you’re on the side of reason. Peace and prosperity will come to those who have the guts to fight for what is right and just. It’s how we grow up and become deserving of the life and the many chances we are given.

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