Back in Danang

Memories are short. I’m sitting at the airport where I landed 40 years ago during the Vietnam War. This morning I walked the beautiful promenade reminiscent of Nice that runs along the river. It’s wide, flowing, geometrically tiled, and lined with palm trees. It’s not Nice; the river is not the blue Mediterranean and the building across the street is not the Hotel Negresco, but it is a beautiful space in country that is in need of them.

I couldn’t help but think of the changes. America was at war here. We believed that if Vietnam fell to the communist North that Asia would cave in, China would take over, and the dominos would fall. We were wrong. We were wrong about the Vietnamese and wrong about China. Now both are our friends and trading partners. It was a civil war not a world wide conspiracy to bring down America. Vietnam is thriving now. It’s the most energetic place I’ve ever been. I was in China in April and the energy and activity level here is categorically different. This country is on the move.


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