Падение Сайгона, рождение Сайгона: 25 лет спустя

Долгая война во Вьетнаме закончилась 25 лет назад, 30 апреля 1975 года. Как прохожий смотрит на обломки дорожного проишествия, так я смотрела на падение Сайгона по телевизору, сидя в Коннектикуте с моей новой семьей. Как миллионы других Американцев, я была заворожена крушением страны, где воевали полмиллиона американцев, 50 000 из которых погибли.

Мне повезло. Когда мне едва исполнилось двенадцать лет я покинула Сайгон за месяц до его падения, с американским офицером, с которым я подружилась в военном госпитале, где я и моя мама работали добровольцами. Это было в 1968, в год операции Tet Offensive. Мы приносили ему рисовую кашу, шоколадные эклеры, конфеты. Он говорил со мной по французски. Пока он лежал забинтованным, я рассказывала ему истории, которые заставляли его смеяться. Через семь лет, когда танки северного Вьетнама пересекли Зону Демилитаризации (DMZ), он вернулся и удочерил меня, забрав меня из страны за несколько месяцев до того, как ее покинули мои родители.

Из безопасности нашей жилой комнаты мы смотрели как толпы вьетнамских вооруженных сил прорывались на охраняемые территории США. Вертолеты садились на крышу посольства. Это была операция «Частый Ветер», кодированное название американской эвакуации из Сайгона. Исход происходил через воздух, в направлении Седьмого Флота, патролировавшего юг Китайского моря; и через море, переполненное баржами, рыбацкими лодками и другими наводными средствами. Свыше 100 000 вьетнамцев убежали только в апреле и мае 1975 года, их число достигло 2 миллионов в последующие годы.

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