LTJG Peter N. Upton wrote: “First light of 13 April manifested typical magnificence; lacking, however, were contemplative spirits necessary for the breathing in of such grandeur. Following the sumptuousness of mawkish tomato juice and canned scrambled eggs, orders were barked and the perimeter troops reembarked in order to proceed with the days schedule of sweeps. The buzzing activity provided a well-needed elixir, forcing wretched visions of the previous day’s ambush into realms of temporary obscurity. Towards nightfall the sweeps terminated and the Marines formed protective enclaves for the night’s rest. The swiftboats, released from support duty, then formed the classic file and headed to sea and safety, retracing the path of the tragic twelfth.
“Short minutes after getting underway the boats passed the still-life remains of the 43, an aesthetic aberration suspended on the north bank of the Duong Keo, simply out of joint with her surroundings. Looking at her bow, bending towards the azure heavens in a searching gesture, one could almost feel motion, a groping for the malignancy which was the cause of her agonizing death. The uninitiated might further try to recreate the essence of the once pulsating holocaust which presently stood calmly before them. The vibrant sensations of that enormity-the anguish, the torments, the frustrations, and the ecstasy-however, will forever remain an esoteric fact, privy to the surviving fifteen: no effort of meditation could possibly reveal those secrets.