Here Lai’s Our Truth: Legacies of War

What are the first things you think of when you hear “Vietnam War?” Maybe you’re thinking about communism or a fresh bánh mì. I don’t blame you, the public school system tends to leave out important history. We are taught about how the Americans tried their hardest to take down the Việt Công and stop the expansion of communism, but we are never taught about the lives stolen or the people affected. One of the biggest aftermaths of the Vietnam War is one of the most neglected topics in history: the Mỹ Lai or Amerasian community.

For 20 years, American soldiers passed in and out of Vietnam and within those 20 years, they impacted the lives of people they would never know: their half Vietnamese, or Lai, children. Most of these children were pushed aside by both Vietnamese and American society and left wondering who they are or where they came from.

Although Vietnam is 8,000 miles away and the war was fought 44 years ago, this situation hits close to home. My dad is the son of an American soldier. He has spent 48 years of his life looking for a man who has no idea that he exist, 48 years wondering where he belongs, 48 years wondering who he truly is. My father is one of thousands of children who were left in Vietnam, one of the thousands of stories being ignored, thousands of people who feel like they don’t have a voice. My goal is to give their stories a platform so they can tell their side of  this story and give them a chance to share their truth.