Friends of Padre Steve’s World, Today has been a long day of meetings with very special colleagues and friends that I serve alongside as a Priest in the Apostolic Catholic Orthodox Church. Since it is late and I am on Central Standard Time in Houston tonight is a re-run about the end of the battle of Dien Bien Phu. It was the battle that put the nail in the coffin of French colonial dreams in Indochina and the cumulation of a war that the United States should have learned from before a single American soldier set foot in Vietnam. It is a reminder that modern armies can be defeated by less technically advanced forces when the people that send them to war do not recognize their limitations. I feel a bond with the French defenders of Dien Bien Phu and others who have serve their nations faithfully in thankless and un-winnable conflicts where they were sent to bolster the political prestige and economy of their country by politicians, pundits and preachers, as well as the bulk of the populace that could care less where they lived or died. Dien Bien Phu is a battle that I commend the soldiers of both sides, but sympathize with the losers , who were then sent by their country into another long term insurgency in Algeria and once again abandoned by their political leadership and nation. So my friends until tomorrow. Peace, Padre Steve+
Dien Bien Phu Today
It was an epic battle in a tragic war and most people neither know or care what happened in the valley where a small border post named Dien Bien Phu became synonymous with forgotten sacrifice. This year fewer remembrances are taking place. Some are in Vietnam and others in France.
General Vo Nguyen Giap
On May 7th 2011 in Hanoi a small remembrance was held to mark the fall of Dien Bien Phu and honor the victor, 101 year old General Vo Nguyen Giap at his home. Giap is the last senior commander of the war alive at 103 he remains active. That 2011 ceremony was one of the few remembrances held anywhere marking that battle which was one of the watersheds of the 20th Century. A half a world away in Houston Texas a small group of French veterans, expatriates and historians laid a wreath at…
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