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A Tortured Land

Indo-China, a land of contrasts,
Of beauty and the beast,
Conflict after conflict,
And mankind at its worst.

The Hanoi Hilton Prison,
A symbol of French colonial rule,
With its gigantic guillotine,
Relic of a time most cruel.

Back in the days of the US War,
Miles of tunnels underground,
Where the Viet Cong lived their lives,
And scarcely made a sound.

They spent their time devising traps,
To inflict death and pain,
Before melting off into the night,
Down in their warrens again.

Pol Pot was next, to foul this land,
His evil plans he put in train,
By the time he filled his Killing Fields,
Not many Cambodians remained.

But now the Mekong wends its way,
Everyone struggling in the heat,
Dignitaries and guests, with poppies on,
Are called to take their seat.

A moving service, an unusual setting,
A Remembrance Day to keep in mind,
After all the horror we saw before,
Gave us hope for all mankind.

The service over, onto the mighty river,
Our Ambassador placed a wreath,
And with it went our fervent hopes,
A beleaguered land will now see peace.

by Billy Wright

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