A piece history has been uprooted from its location in Phuc Qua Vietnam and replanted in Ho Chi Minh. When I say this I’m referring to the War Remnants museum. The awe and the excitement of seeing tanks and helicopters is quickly replaced by horror. I have been through my fair share of horror stories but wandering through the tiger cage area was something that made my stomach retch with revulsion. Before I divulge what I have seen, I think it would be better to start from beginning.
TORTURE UNLIKE ANY OTHER
A cage like none I have ever seen!
We entered the War Remnants museum and wore our badges like everyone else. There was much chatter at the entrance as is bound to be at any tourist attraction. To the left hand side of the entrance a bold heading displays ‘Tiger cave’. Curious to see what place a tiger has in a War Remnants museum we moved into the room.
Tiger is a misnomer for no tiger ever lived a life so pathetic. Tiger cages referred to small cages that were at most a half a meter high. The sides were covered with barbed wire. Men were forced into these cages where they could not sit and could not turn. They couldn’t even move their legs.
Sadly, this wasn’t the worst form of punishment that was meted out to the prisoners. How people can think of methods to be so cruel cannot be fathomed. I cannot even bare to recount what I read and so I leave it to you to discover if you ever wander through the same path that I did.
THE INSIDE OF THE BUILDING HOUSES HORRORS OF THAT AGENT ORANGE CAUSED
This photograph caught my attention because I found it extremely symbolic!
The inside of the War Remnants museum was dedicated to the war that the Vietnamese fought against the Americans. As with every stroll down war history there are horrors. I cannot help but believe that there is a lot of propaganda has added spice between the lines. Maybe the Tiger cage exhibit was so extreme that I became emotionally stunted. Maybe it was that the horrors were of a different kind. Whatever the reason was I was glad to exit from the Tiger cage exhibit.
The inside of the museum displays the effects that chemicals used in the war had on the Vietnamese. Agent Orange was apparently the worst. Genetic malformations, congenital defects, still born children, paralysis, cancer etc are just a few outcomes that top the list that Agent Orange caused. Along with the Vietnamese the Americans who fought were also exposed to Agent Orange. The effects have been seen for 4 generations. While the number of reported incidences related to Agent Orange decline with every generation, the people continue to suffer.
WHAT DO WE ACHIEVE FROM WAR OTHER THAN DEATH AND SORROW?
There are many instances in my trip that I feel that global leaders should get up and travel before the take on their yoke of authority. Go see the effects that war has on people, on the environment, on culture, on life, on animals… The world never seems to learn. While Vietnam is recovering from the horrors it witnessed, other nations are plunging into sorrow.
If only everyone traveled and took the time to learn just how similar we are! Countries, continents, religion, race, color are our own inventions. History has repeated itself for centuries and yet the world never learned. Just because war has not touched your shores yet doesn’t mean it will never do.