Give America A Break  Give America A Break

November 22, 1963, President John F. Kennedy fell
The assassin's bullet took his body but his soul stayed
He left America a legacy of a freedom fighter
Committed to bringing down evil Communism.
November 9, 1989, the Berlin Wall went down
Seven years after the Vietnam Veteran Wall went up.

But November 22, 1999, Oprah Winfrey delivered a bullet
To our beloved American Vietnam veterans--
She put Kim Phuc in front of America:
"I forgive those who caused me the burn.
My feet were not burned so I could run."
Yes, Kim, you did run away from Vietnam to Canada.

Do you know there are 56 Canadians on The Wall,
You "forgive" the men who died fighting Communists,
For freedom and liberty for your South Vietnam?
Please go to Little Saigon and forgive the Skyraider pilot
Who accidentally dropped the napalm on that sad day,
Forgive the Vietnamese Communists if you want.

Tell the Truth, Kim, the Americans saved your life that day
The South Vietnamese ordered their pilot to drop the bomb,
The Viet Cong committed atrocities behind the dark smoke
Which Nick Ut's camera lens could never see;
Forgiveness means nothing when it is based on lies.
Give America a break--you and I are just here as Viet refugees!

Linh Duy Vo
(The Boy in the Poem)
November 22, 1999

                                                                                                    Kim Phuc and son, photo by Nick Ut
.  The boy is now more than 11 years old as this picture is                                                                                                uploaded today, 26 September 2007, so he cannot be recognized.

An Open Letter

Tuesday, December 7, 1999

My dear Ms. Oprah Winfrey:

I have been depressed by the false statement by Oprah Winfrey Show 
of November 22, 1999. You said: 
"Kim Phuc was a victim of 'U.S. ordered airstrikes'." 
No, it's a lie. The Baltimore Sun--by Tom Bowman--said it's a lie, 
on its front page headline, Sunday, December 14, 1997: 
"Veteran's Admission to Napalm Victim A Lie." 
Sadly, the lies continue. 
Here I send you again the poem, Give America A Break, 
with my emphasis on the 2nd line on the last stanza. 
I never know how much the poem has "consoled" many a Viet vet. 
Thousands of them have read it through our close-knit network. 
God Bless you and America.

Respectfully yours,

Linh Duy Vo

Poet's Note:

My old mother is still alive, living in Downey. She can tell you how many members in her family were killed by Russian and Chinese rockets, AK-47s, as well as American bombs (My house was bombed when the VC flew their flag from the roof.) I, too, lost an uncle and 3 cousins on my Father's side. My Mom's Dad, my beloved grandpa, was murdered by the Communist Viet Cong with one bullet piercing his ear, at point blank; I was 5 years old. My grandpa was an unarmed Village Chief being accused as an "American sympathizer." His coffin lay in the living room for days allowing relatives to say goodbye. My grandpa's two German Shepherds lay next to his body, they refused to eat anything. I remember vividly the dogs' sadness. They cried with me. My Mother later said that the two beloved dogs, named "Ky" and "Tap," died after a month spent lying beside Grandpa's grave, in the mountainous backyard.




A Mission

  Copyright by Linh Duy Vo.  All rights reserved.