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Sunday, 2 November 2008

November 1st 1963.




If I recollect the First of November used to be the National Holiday in South Vietnam celebrating the overthrow of Ngo Dinh Diem in 1963.
Whereas that might have been cause for rejoicing amongst certain of the population I always felt it was a bad day to choose as the National Holiday.
I was in Saigon once watching a military march past on a November 1st. President Thieu led the parade, but there were no enthusiastic waving crowds to cheer him on. I always found a great indifference to him.
At the tail end of the parade were some allied troops and bringing up the rear were kilted Australian pipers, and being ex Black Watch I found that the only inspiring unit present.
I remember rather giving up hope about national allegiance when I noticed the rag my maid was using to wash the floor. It was the National Flag. It’s possible I had replaced the old one with a new one, but anyway old flags are burnt with great respect not turned into dish rags or whatever. Maybe she was a closet Viet Cong?

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