Jessica Kastello | Hour 6 | Project 22
About the Tunnels
TOURISM IN THE TUNNELS
At least 45,000 Vietnamese men and women are said to have died defending the Cu Chi tunnels over the course of the Vietnam War. In the years following the fall of Saigon in 1975, the Vietnamese government preserved the Cu Chi tunnels and included them in a network of war memorial parks around the country.Visitors to Vietnam can now crawl through some of the safer areas of the tunnels, view command centers and booby traps, fire an AK-47 rifle on a firing range and even eat a meal featuring typical foods that soldiers living in the tunnels would have eaten.
2:20 to 3:35---traps
6:20 to 8:03---tunnels
I can't even begin to imagine living down in the tunnels for an hour, much less six years as some villagers did when their town was being bombarded by bombs. I would be claustrophobic and be freaked out by the amount of snakes, scorpions, and bats living down there with me in the darkness.
I also can't possibly imagine the amount of courage (or insanity) required by the Tunnel Rats to voluntarily descend into the tunnels. Don't even get me started on combat--I mean, how do you even properly fight in tunnels that small? Some of those traps make my head hurt just LOOKING at them. One wrong step and your foot is spiked through and your leg has to be amputated or you just die slow from infection if the spike was covered with feces. Ow. ...I also see now the effect of the 'living-room war' after I watched so many VIDEOS. People can lie, but real footage can't lie.
The whole war in general is heartbreaking. There's so much controversy in it--I see that now. You want to be loyal to your country and fight, but what if you don't believe in what they want you to fight for? I hadn't really thought about the controversial aspects of the war until I watched the Tunnel Rats video...and THEN watched the Vietcong documentary. Now I can see the motivation for BOTH sides of the war.