…and the Reflection

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Reflections attempt to portray a glimpse of reality.  A face reflected in a mirror, a person reflected in a store-front window, a building reflected in a puddle of rain water – they aren’t the real thing, but just reflections of something more substantial and beautiful.

When I was in California recently, I met up with my daughter and her family and we went to the Santa Cruz Boardwalk.  I’d never been there before (hard to believe for someone who has spent as much time as I did in the greater San Francisco bay area!) and I had a wonderful time!  The best part of it, of course, was the time spent with those I love, but there were other things that made it interesting, too.

There is a carousel there at the Boardwalk and it features at least three different “band boxes.”  They were very interesting and colorful.  As I took the picture you see here today of the beautiful music machine, I noticed the even more beautiful reflection of my oldest grand daughter reflected in the glass.

ON THIS DAY IN HISTORY: in 1972, seventeen U.S. helicopters landed 1,000 South Vietnamese marines and their six U.S. advisors behind North Vietnamese lines southeast of Quang Tri City in the first South Vietnamese counterattack since the beginning of the communist Nguyen Hue Offensive. The marines reportedly killed more than 300 North Vietnamese before returning to South Vietnamese-controlled territory the next day. Farther to the south, North Vietnamese tanks and troops continued their attacks in the Kontum area.

On May 1, North Vietnamese troops had captured Quang Tri City, the first provincial capital taken during their ongoing offensive. The fall of the city effectively gave the North Vietnamese control of the entire province of Quang Tri. Farther south along the coast, three districts of Binh Dinh Province also fell, leaving about one-third of that province under communist control.

These attacks were part of the North Vietnamese Nguyen Hue Offensive (later called the “Easter Offensive”), a massive invasion by North Vietnamese forces on March 30 to strike the blow that would win them the war. The attacking force included 14 infantry divisions and 26 separate regiments, with more than 120,000 troops and approximately 1,200 tanks and other armored vehicles. The main North Vietnamese objectives, in addition to Quang Tri in the north and Kontum in the Central Highlands, included An Loc farther to the south.

The situation at Quang Tri would not be rectified until President Nguyen Van Thieu relieved the I Corps commander and replaced him with Maj. Gen. Ngo Quang Truong, whom Gen. Bruce Palmer, Jr., later described as “probably the best field commander in South Vietnam.” Truong effectively stopped the ongoing rout of South Vietnamese forces, established a stubborn defense, and eventually launched a successful counterattack against the North Vietnamese, retaking Quang Tri in September.

TRIVIA FOR TODAY:  Penguins often slide on their tummies over ice and snow. This is called tobogganing. Researchers believe they do this for fun and as an efficient way to travel.


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