Monday/ the horrors of the Vietnam War

I have started to watch a 10-episode Vietnam War documentary, currently airing on the public television channel PBS, here in the United States.

Long ago in South Africa on Friday nights, I would watch a TV series about the war, called Tour of Duty, but dubbed into Afrikaans as Sending Vietnam (Mission Vietnam). Best I can recall, this was in 1993 & 1994.  At the end of each episode, ‘Paint It, Black’ would play – a song by the Rolling Stones that describes extreme grief and loss.  No doubt: it pointed to the post-traumatic stress that soldiers and civilians alike, had suffered (still suffer?) from the war.

From ‘Paint It, Black’ (The Rolling Stones, 1966) :
‘No more will my green sea go turn a deeper blue
I could not foresee this thing happening to you
If I look hard enough into the setting sun
My love will laugh with me before the morning comes ..’

From the PBS website. I have watched episodes 1 and 2, so a long way to go! Episode 2 ended with the assassination of JFK in 1963. That’s President Lyndon Johnson (left) and Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara in the picture for Episode 3.  The documentary is hard to watch at times: Episode 2 had footage of the Buddhist monk Thích Quảng Đức who burned himself to death at a busy Saigon road intersection on 11 June 1963 (to protest the persecution of Buddhists by the South Vietnamese government).

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.