Life in a Vietnamese community living in the tunnels during the war

Beep tone.
Roll 63.
476, Take 1, Second Slate.
Clap stick.
(Sound of kids saying “One, Two, One, Two,” and of handclaps.)
477, Take 2.
Clap stick. Interview with Ho Minh Sac in tunnel.
Could you tell us why the tunnel was built and how many people lived here and how were the living conditions here?
Ho Minh Sac:
We built this tunnel in order to stick to our village and defend it from the invaders. It took us over two years to build the whole system. The largest number of people living inside the tunnel at one time was over one thousand persons. The lowest number of people living in the tunnel in any period was over 200. we lived in here so that we could produce food and defend this coastal area and our fatherland.
What was life like down here?
Ho Minh Sac:
During the day we went outside to try to produce food. At night we came back here to sleep. We were also guarding at night in order to catch any commandos whom they dispatched up here to destroy this area. This was our regular dwelling. But during the war years we were still able to maintain our production quota.
Please tell us again about your life here.
Ho Minh Sac:
Beginning in 1965 imperial American began to attack the northern part of our country. The inhabitants of this area wanted to stick to their villages and their land. As Uncle Ho had said, there is noting as precious as independence and freedom. And in order to have independence and freedom, we had to cling on to our land and our village. We had to cling on to our village and to fight the enemy so that they would not be able to invade further into our country.
Therefore, we had to dig tunnels in order to be able to fight back should the Americans dare to invade this place. At the same time, the tunnels were constructed in order to protect the lives of the inhabitants. During the period from 1966 to 1968 although we lived in the tunnels, we were able to maintain production, when the enemy came, we went out of our tunnels to fight them. When the enemy was not around, we carried on our lives as usual. We led normal lives during those years in the tunnels, fighting the enemy and carrying on with our productive activities.