Times Square,Saigon

by James Murtaugh, Mar 14, 2002 | Destinations: Vietnam / Ho Chi Minh City

Dec. 31, 2001, Saigon.

We arrive late in the day on the first day of our Vietnam tour. Our hotel is just down the street from City Hall. I have a very large nice room with a place to sit outside overlooking the street below. It is New Years Eve but tonight I just want to relax in my room after the long trip to get here.

Below, on the street, I see many types of vendors setting up along the sidewalks. A parade, I wonder. Later, I hear a lot of motorcycles on the street. They head toward City Hall and some stop along the street near the vendors. Still, later the street is packed with people and motorcycles. Traffic has come to a halt. I hear the sounds of hundreds of people on the street.

Outside, drinking my first Tiger beer, the clock strikes midnight. A cheer from the crowd go's up. Young people kiss. Times Square, New York. Just no ball to count the minutes.

There is tears in my eyes! I'm thinking of a question I asked myself many times during the war. Why me? Why do I survive while so many good people loose their lives? I never could find an answer. On this New Years Eve I'm thinking that the answer is down on the street. I am watching hundreds of happy Vietnamese people down on the street. Perhaps my life was spared so that I would live to see this day. My tears are tears of joy!


* * * * *