Thursday, October 13, 2011

The Enemy As a Real Human Being

From the diary of Dang Thuy Tram (1942-1970)

26 November 1968

It’s my birthday, and the sounds of the enemy’s guns reverberate in all directions. I am used to helping wounded soldiers evade the enemy, wearing a heavy backpack on my shoulders. It’s nothing. Two arduous years have hardened me to the bullets and the fire of war. The forest has gone peculiarly silent, the sound of gunfire gone. Everyone is intently following the status of the battles.

As for me, I suddenly remember the peaceful days in the North—sunlight in the winter, the warmth of great joy, Dad and Mom buying me flowers, having a party, friends coming to congratulate me…Now my desires are different from those of the past. If I have those things, I should save them for those people who have risked death for the last twenty-three years, and for the adolescents growing up with suffering, hatred and sacrifice. And for my dear friends in this land of the South. Oh, Dad and Mom, save your love for us, prepare to welcome me and all your sons from the South when we return. My young brothers will deserve your love.



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