World Airways Babylift Reunion Flight
In June 2005, World Airways sponsored a trip to Vietnam for some of the "Babylift" era adoptees and staff that were in involved in that effort. You can read extensive stories about the trip through the links an the left. Following is a Journal Entry written by Ross Meador shortly after the trip.
Journal Entry August 2005
It has now been almost two months since we returned from our trip to Vietnam . Life, as it does, has moved on, and the initial rush of excitement and celebrity has faded into the warm glow of a fond memory.
The importance of these people in my life is difficult to explain because it is so great. In part because of the stage of my life that I was in when I worked in Vietnam (i.e., that most sensitive and formative period that we pass through as we enter adulthood), much of who I am today is directly linked to those people and that experience. They are not merely old friends; they are in me and make me who I am – much like my parents and my own children.
I am not alone as one for whom the events of April 1975 have had a deep and lasing impact. I am continually struck by the way those events have changed the lives of so many who were involved. Even those who were with the adoptees for a few days or less were deeply affected and their lives forever changed. For us who found them in the decrepit orphanages, nursed them to health, and sent them on to new families, the experience was deeply profound.
I say this to illustrate how grateful I have been for the opportunity to participate in the incredible “homecoming” reunion trip. Because I spent more waking hours on the plane than on the ground in Vietnam , my memories consist largely of conversations on the plane. I was especially struck by the kindness of the World Airways staff, and also by the experiences of the amazing group of people that were onboard.
The time in Vietnam , though brief, was also rewarding. I most enjoyed the tour of Phu My (which I visited frequently in 1974), followed closely by the trip down the Sai Gon River . The incongruity of these experiences is not lost upon me. Yet the juxtaposition illustrates the peculiar pleasure that my years in Vietnam were for me. I worked in horrific places, touched by death almost daily, and yet it was one of the most enjoyable times of my life. Visiting Phu My again brought back vivid memories of sadness but also of the warmth and joy that I experienced there. Sailing down the river also offered distinctions between the complex disparities of the local life that we passed through and the singing and elation that consumed us along the way.
Now I am looking forward to my next trip, which should be in October. I am hopeful that I will be able to spend more time in Vietnam with the adoptees, some of whom are living there now, and others who I know want to return. Please stay in touch with me. Let's meet again in Saigon .
|Bob Shane Story|
|Newsday Story - Babylift|
|Newsday Story - Adoptees|
|Travel Video Television News|
|Vietnamese American Television (Vietnamese)|
|Pan American Airlines|