West Point in Viet Nam?

I can assure you that whoever created the original marketing and promotion campaign for Vinhomes West Point (2nd image) did not receive an Employee of the Month award.  I noticed this on Facebook and wondered how long it would last.  It was a lame attempt at honor and prestige by association by comparing the United States Military Academy West Point with a real estate project in the southwestern part of Hanoi.  From the horse’s mouth:  west point1vinhomes westpointName of the project get inspired by West Point prep school – the most prestigious Military Academy school of The United States which famous for its high quality learning conditions. High quality living condition is also the thing VinHomes is willing to bring to our customers. Main products of VinHomes West Point project are luxury apartments and Officetels.

I seem to recall a war that was fought on Vietnamese soil, known here as the American War in Viet Nam and in the US as the Vietnam War.  This war, which included West Point graduates among the US Army officers, resulted in the deaths of nearly 4 million Vietnamese and 300,000 Vietnamese MIAs, in addition to war legacies, e.g., Agent Orange, Unxploded Ordnance (UXO), Amerasians, etc.  

west point logoThe mission of West Point (the military academy) is “to educate, train and inspire the Corps of Cadets so that each graduate is a commissioned leader of character committed to the values of Duty, Honor, Country and prepared for a career of professional excellence and service to the nation as an officer in the United States Army.”  That’s a far cry from a real estate project.  West Point in Viet Nam?  Textbook oxymoronic.  Talk about a nasty affiliation!  

Needless to say, a phone call must have been made, or an urgent email sent, and the original marketing campaign mercifully and quickly pulled.   There are some lines that should not be crossed when hawking a product or service.    

Peace, MAA

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Dancing in the Park

For as long as cities have existed, people have needed spaces where communities can gather and individuals can meet, find diversions, and conduct business.  In various times and places, public markets, city parks, wide sidewalks, village and city squares, malls around national monuments, and other organized and unorganized public spaces have filled these roles.  In recent years, however, even the idea of public space has come under threat from a variety of private and state interests.    

This film is the story of one such place, Thong Nhat (Reunification) Park, the largest park in Hanoi, the capital of Vietnam.

From Dancing in the ParkThe Website

This is a park I have visited and enjoyed on many occasions – one of the recreational gems of Hanoi.  In fact, I included it in some video I took for a segment entitled Vietnam Today that I contributed to IN FOCUS: Vietnam, a project developed six or seven years ago by the Hobart and William Smith Colleges and Union College Partnership for Global Education (PGE) in support of its study abroad program in Hanoi. 

Chalk one up for the public good over private gain (i.e., greed)!