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Valley News and Views
Drayton , North Dakota
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May 30, 2013     Valley News and Views
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Valley News and Views ! Page 5 May 30th, 2013 Memorial Day Essays Memorial Day and blue marching down the street and flags are lowered Editors Note: The following at half-mast. But we should two essays were written from always remember and never a very youthful point offorget what set us free, from view and read at this year's this very day on. Memorial Day Service in Drayton. I thought they were quite worthy of sharing with the rest of the community. (Written by All M., a 3rd Grader at Academy Elementary School, in Madison, Connecticut.) As the flowers rest on the decorated graves and the sunlight shines on the beautiful sailboats, Uncle Sam whispers in my ear about howwe should care for the soldiers and remember the ones that have died. Swimming pools open, BBQs fry. Today is the day to think of what they have done for us. There are blurs of red, white Memorial Day Essay by Kathlena Peebles (Copyright 1996) (Kathlena Peebles was a Junior at Highlands High School in North Highlands, CA when she wrote this. The essay was punishment for missing a band function on Memorial Day to witness a Memorial Day presentation by her father's submariner veterans group aboard the USS Pampanito [US Sub Vets, Inc. Mare Island Base]. She wrote an essay about what Memorial Day really is, she succinctly expressed the Spirit of Memorial Day. The day is a day to remember and both women and men, have honor those who fell in battle, lost their lives in service to Which is what she did, and America. Indeed the Civil was punishedfor Courtesy of War alone accounted for www.asmemorialdayorg) more than 600,00 dead. Memorial Day, originally On Memorial Day I had called Decoration Day, the opportunity to witness a is a day set aside for memorial in San Francisco, remembrance of those who aboard a submarine, the USS have died in our nations Pampanito, a submarine that service. Memorial Day waswas used inWWII and Korea. first proclaimed on 5 MayThe United States submarine 1868 by General John Logan, service suffered the highest in his General order number percentage of casualties than 11, and was first observed on any other of the services that 30 May 1868; when flowersserved in WWII. They also were placed on the gravessank over55%ofallJapanese of Union and' Confederateshipping sunk in WWII. This soldiers. The South, at first, was all pointed out to me refused to acknowledge, with pride by several of these Memorial Day, honoring veterans. their dead on separate days As our National Anthem until after WWI. It is now was played over the speaker observed in almost every system some of them started state of the union on thetocryastheyrememberedall last Monday of every May.of their fallen comrades, the Since the Civil War more ones that served with them, than 1.1 million veterans, and the ones that did not. I thought about how many of these veterans brothers had made the ultimate sacrifice so that we may all enjoy the freedom this country offers. As we stood for the Pledge of Allegiance I saw the reaction on their faces, it was a thoughtful, respectful look, a look of such sadness. I thought about what my dad's submarine veterans group was really all about "To perpetuate the memory of our shipmates who gave their lives while serving in the United State Naval Submarines" I then started to cry myself with the realization of what that really meant. All those old sailors, my dad included, standing on the deck of an old submarine holding the flag with such pride and sadness. Then it was time for the speakers to give their speeches about their experiences and the meaning of Memorial Day. A WWII veteran talked about the hardships and struggles and the fact that he was lucky to be alive when so many of his brothers had fallen victim to the war. One talked about how it was up to the veterans to teach "our children about the sacrifices made by so many". Another said, "that America will only be the land of the free so long as it is the home of the Brave". So many of the speakers spoke with so much pride about America that it was hard not to think about all the people who have no idea what this holiday is really about. While they go to their Bar B Q's and beaches there are some who keep up a tradition of pride in service to the United States of America and remember all those who had fallen, and rejoice in the ones who still live and remember. Let none of us ever forget what Memorial Day really is. inflict in Vietnam by Morgan Emanuelson, (Recent DHS graduate Morgan Emanuelson, was this year's recipient of the David L. Kirkeby Memorial Scholarship. To be eligible for the scholarship, students were required to write an essay on the subject of Vietnam. David was killed in combat in Vietnam. I thought it appropriate to the Memorial Day theme to remember David and to publish Morgan's essay. Thanks to Morgan for letting us use it). Vietnam is a country that has been known to struggle for its independence. In Vietnam's earliest existence, the Chinese colonizedand ruled its land for twelve hundred years. Through rebellion, the Vietnamese people claimed independence from the tenth to the mid nineteenth century. Then, the French had successfully colonized Vietnam in the mid ........... ....... mneteenth century. In the early 1900's some of the young Vietnamese were allowed to travel and educate themselves. The most famous Vietnamese student to educate himself was Ho Chi Minh. He traveled to France, Russia, China and Europe to create his own style of communism. In 1941, after thirty years of exile, Ho Chi Minh returned to Vietnam and started a Communist party known as the "Viet Minh". The Indochinese Communist Party (ICP) saw its chance to make advances in Vietnam during World War II when most of Southeast Asia was occupied by the Japanese. France did not fight against the Japanese in Vietnam; but worked with them. This allowed them to remain in power and the Japanese began to move arms and supplies through the country to other areas. In March, 1945, the Japanese overthrew the French government and gained control of Vietnam. In August of 1945, the Japanese surrendered after the American's bombed the Japanese cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. On the day the Japanese surrendered, the Viet Minh allowed the Japanese soldiers to leave peacefully and they gave their arms to theVietnamese. The Vietnamese then used these arms to overthrow the emperor Bao Dai and proclaim the independence of Vietnam. Again, in 1946, the French returned to gain control of Vietnam by appointing people from the Vietnamese upper class from the south who found communism unacceptable. When the fighting began in the south, Ho Chi Minh found he was unable to maintain independence. In September of 1946, Ho Chi Minh was forced to sign control of Cochin China back to the French. Later, the French gained a little power in the north and promised to set a date for the end of colonization. The French showed no signs of easing their control; the fighting between French and Vietnamese troops began in December of 1946 until 1954. In 1949, the communist of China began to help Ho Chi Minh and the commander of Viet Minh forces. In that same year, Russia also sent supplies and weapons which had the United States fearing a Communist takeover in Southeast Asia and sent three bllhon dollars of aid to the French. Ho Chi Minh anticipated a long war and had planned many tactics against the French which were unsuccessful. After many years of fighting, the French were beginning to tire of war and had lost 90,000 troops. In 1953, Ho Chi Minh and military leaders had changed their tactics and lured a large number of French troops into an area called Dien Bien Phu and surrounded them. After two hundred nine days, the French then surrendered which ended their participation of the war and their colonial period. Ho Chi Mirth was granted control over the northern part of Vietnam. The division of Vietnam had the Communists in the north led by Ho Chi Minh and the non-Communists were led by Ngo Dinh Diem. Ho Chi Minh wanted to unify Vietnam into one socialist republic but Ngo Dinh Diem rejected his idea which led to the beginning of the Vietnamese Civil War. The North Vietnamese had the support of Russia and China while the south received support from the United States. The United States wanted to control the spread of communism in fear it would spread to other countries. By 1956, the French had left Vietnam completely. From 1957-1963 the U.S was involved by committing financial aid, military advisorsand supplies. In 1959,two of the first United States casualties E h, Basement Waterproofing Basement Humidity & Mold Control Basement Finishing Slob and Sidewalk Liflfin9 Basement Si:rucr, ural Repairs & Crawl Space Repair were recorded. In 1960, the National Liberation Front of South Vietnam (Vietcong) was formed. They were being supplied with weapons from North Vietnam along a popular route called the Ho Chi Minh Trail which went through the country of Laos. In 1962, the United States started spraying Agent Orange to expose the roads and trails used by the Vietcong. In 1964, North Vietnamese P.T. boats fired on the USS Maddox in international waters which led to the Gulf of Tonkin resolution which gave president Lyndon Johnson the authority to use any means necessary to repel any armed attack on U.S forces, allowing him to have "all out war" without a war declaration. President Johnson and his military advisers figured a heavy bombing campaign would be their best strategy against North Vietnam. After an attack in February in 1965, that killed eight American Soldiers within a week, Johnson ordered the beginning of "Operation Rolling Thunder". This consisted of three years of continuous bombing of North Vietnam; including targets along the Ho Chi Minh Trail. One fear the Americans had was, a too sudden and decisive campaign against the North Vietnamese may bring Russian and Chinese troops into the war. A lot of their bombing did not include many North Vietnamese major assets such as, their cities and oil refineries. They bombed smaller targets around the major assets hoping the North Vietnamese would recognize their superior air power. Since the Americans weren't bombing the great assets, the bombing didn't have the effect it should have and the United States recognized that and went to a strategy of more ground forces. The ground forces had grown to a number of 485,600 in 1967. The United States felt they were winning, due to the losses suffered by the North Vietnamese Army and Vietcong being greater than they could replace. In 1968, the American's suffered 14,000 casualties, which are the most casualties in one year. The Tet Offensive was a coordinated military attack throughout South Vietnam, targeting major urban areas and military installations. Heavy fighting "Doing business without advertising is like winking at a girl in the dark. You know what you're doing, but nobody else does." Steuart Henderson Britt So Advertise in the Valley News and Views raged for three weeks and the U.S claimed victory because no cities were lost and so many Vietcong soldiers were killed. When the Tet Offensive took place, the press coverage in print and on television, it was being Viewed by the people back in the United States and they questioned the necessity of the war in Vietnam. Most people feel the United States was winning the war on the battle field but was losing politically. In 1969, Richard Nixon became president, while the war was still massive the decision to draw down the number of troops had already been made. While Nixon was cutting down the ground warfare he was escalating the air warfare, including bombing raids into "Neutral Cambodia. Morale amongst the troops were really starting to deteriate due to racial tensions, and the thoughts they were being sent on missions that had no strategic value, which was leading to dissension amongst the ranks even lethal attacks on troop leaders. And with the bad publicity and press in the US most felt it was time to end the US involvement and transfer the fighting over to the South Vietnamese alone. So byApril 1, 1973 U.S forces were out of Vietnam. The US certainly did not accomplish its goal as after their departure the North Vietnamese's defeated the south in April of 1975, which led to the reunification of Vietnam into a communist state. When the Vietnam War ended, more than three million Americans served in the Vietnam War, 1.5 million of them saw combat, more than 150,000 had been wounded, 21,000 were permanently disabled, 830,000 Veterans suffered posttraumatic stress disorder and 58,220 soldiers had been killed. There were a reported 1.1 million deaths in the Vietnamese side of the war. I believe if the U.S instead of supplying advisors and supplies should have entered the war on the ground in the late 1950's, the North Vietnamese would not have been able to supply the Vietcong with weapons, and supplies. Many feel we were winning the war on the battlefield but the South Vietnamese, through poor politicalstructure, corruption and ineffective leadership could not establish an effective government. If the United States would have placed their "puppet leader" in charge of the country they could have effectively and ran the country themselves under the United State's constantsupervision. Through the figure head they placed in leadership we could have controlled and ruled South Vietnam for their benefit. Currently, the leader of North Korea has been giving speeches about developing nuclear weapons that can reach long distances such as to the United States, Japan, Guam and South Korea. Many feel there are strong sanctions and embargos imposed again North Korea. If we could convince North Korea's allies, especially China and Russia to join the embargo, we could make their countries people so hungry and oppressed that they may rise up against their leader to over throw him internally and they could enjoy the prosperity that South Korea does. If we could send in propaganda and communications by broadcasting over internet, radio and television signals with the North Korean people, showing them how great life can be with a democratic nation such as South Korea, they would want to join us. Amilitarystrategyto defeat the North Koreans would be to ally ourselves with Russia and China telling them that we would go in and defeat the North Koreans and divide North Korea between Russia and China. Russia would gain a warm seaport because they have very little warm sea ports to ship their goods out of and China could also have part of the land. 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