Here's How The Vietnamese Remember The Vietnam War [PHOTOS]

Vietnam Army Museum

While on vacation in Hanoi, Vietnam in 2010, I had a chance to view some Vietnam War history from the local perspective.

I toured the infamous Hoa Lo Prison, or the “Hanoi Hilton” as it came to be called by the American GIs that were imprisoned there during the war — including U.S. Senator John McCain

I also visited the Vietnam Army Museum in Hanoi, which as you’ll see in the photos, was focused less on displaying Vietnamese military hardware, and more geared towards showing off piles of left-behind American hardware and relics of the war.

Vietnam is a much different place now than during the brutal war in which approximately 3 million people were killed, including 58,000 Americans. It is a beautiful country and its people by and large friendly and accommodating. For many Vietnamese today, the Vietnam War is a distant memory.

Even though both museums are filled with Vietnamese propaganda, the relics on display still serve to remind visitors of the Americans that fought and died in the war.

The Hoa Lo Prison (Hanoi Hilton) can still be visited today.

There is very little mention of Vietnam POWs by comparison.

Complete with replicas of Vietnamese behind bars...

And chained up in leg shackles. But again no mention of American POWs' horrible experience. In fact...

Propaganda is on display in the museum that says the Canadians in Montreal stand against the war.

The worst treatment they'd have you think POWs received was getting to play chess...

Painting Christmas scenes...

And even getting souvenirs upon release in 1973.

But the conditions for prisoners probably looked more like this.

And this.

Senator John McCain was taken here after he was captured.

His flight suit is still on display.

McCain visited the prison in 2000.

At the Vietnam Army Museum the main focus is showing off military hardware. Most of it not Vietnamese...

But American, as can be seen when visitors first walk into the main courtyard.

In the middle of the courtyard there is a mound of military hardware.

It is built from the wreckage of crashed US Air Force and Navy aircraft.

Even after over 40 years of exposure to the elements, the stars and stripes are still visible.

Rusted jet engines help hold up the base of the structure.

Yet some are discarded as if they were hauled in and left in the same spot with little thought.

This is the emblem for the US Air Force Tactical Air Command unit.

An intact U.S. Air Force helicopter is on display.

Along with complete aircraft.

Like this U.S. Navy plane.

This couple climbed on the wing of the plane and asked that I take their picture.

There is even heavy artillery from the U.S. Army.

Which upon closer inspection has been damaged by shrapnel or large rounds.

Inside, the wing of a downed U.S. craft is displayed along with a photo of the pilot and the crash site.

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