I am surprised that after all these years I still get deeply emotional over the story of the fall of Saigon. The account of my escape under fire still moves me to the depths of my soul. It was the end of my Vietnam period, the thirteen years during which I spent more time in Vietnam than I did in the U.S. I loved the country and its people. To this day, I grieve over those we lost during the final disaster, especially the 2700 South Vietnamese that worked with me and my organization. We didn’t evacuate them. The North Vietnamese killed many of them on the spot; those who survived were sent to “re-education camps,” really concentration camps, where the death rate was exceedingly high.
So the title I give to the presentation is apt. I call it “Bitter Memories.”