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Picture of the day - February 19, 2009

"Mekong River Sunset"

Photo of a beautiful sunset on the Mekong River in southeast Asia.
Photo courtesy of Atif Gulzar.           (Click on the photo for a larger view)

Today's picture features a gorgeous sunset on the Mekong River in southeast Asia. That part of the world was quite unpleasant to be in just a few decades ago during the Vietnam War era, but today the calm waters of the Mekong no longer flow red.

There have been countless times in human history when some of the world's most beautiful places have seen turmoil and strife beyond belief, and southeast Asia sure saw more than its fair share of it during the third quarter of the last century. Many thousands of American soldiers, sailors, airmen and marines never made it out of that beautiful, but tormented region alive, and the toll on the local population was simply mind-boggling.

Time has a way of healing deep wounds and fading bad memories, but far too many of the men and women who endured that war will never stop hearing the sounds of mortar rounds and rifle bursts or smelling the awful stench of war in the jungle and rice paddies. For those unlucky souls, the Mekong will always flow a scarlet red.

But for the ones who were able to put those memories behind them, this is a new century and a new era. Today's picture and the Mekong River basin are quite beautiful indeed. What a difference a little time can make.
Visitor Comments...
    Name: Amanda Hall
    Town: Sydney, Australia

    Beautiful photo and a very touching story. I cannot tell you how much I enjoy the "Picture of the Day".
    Name: Phyllis Helton
    Town: Bristol, VA

    You consistently feature extraordinary photographers and wonderful photos. It is a delightful visit with you each morning.

    Name: Armand Doucet
    Town: Grenoble, France

    Very pretty.

    Name: Gerald Baxter
    Town: Wytheville, VA

    Mr. Rouse, I love your "local" photos very much because of the way you highlight this special region of our country, but Sir you bring us the entire world with these amazing photographs. Thanks to you, many of us are seeing places and things we would never be able to see in a thousand lifetimes otherwise. I tip my hat to you and all the wonderful photographers who are so willing to share their valuable work with the rest of the world. Keep up the good work.

    Name: Ronnie Shelton
    Town: Champion, OH

    Two words comes to mind to describe today's posting: sadness and hope. Very nice tribute to all of us vets who lived through exactly what you described.

    Name: Imogene Hammond
    Town: Bartlesville, OK

    Beautiful picture today as usual, and the story was so fitting. Very moving!

    Name: Thomas Gauley
    Town: Marion, VA

    I too am a Viet Nam vet and today's picture and story stir up a lot of mixed emotions for me. I joined the Marine Corps at 18 and spent a total of 19 months in southeast Asia, only to return to what I perceived to be a bitter and ungrateful country. I have received more thank you's for my service in the two years since I began visiting your websites than I had received in all the years since coming home in 1969. Thank you for your thank you's Mr. Rouse. You'll never know how much they mean to me and thousands others like me.

    Name: Ann Leonard
    Town: Jacksonville, FL

    Superb photograph, and the article is even better.

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