Remembering Viet Nam Vets in History
Posted by Warren Peterson on April 30, 2010
On the anniversary (April 30, 1975) of the fall of Saigon, we should take time to reflect on the sacrifices of those Americans who served their country in the Viet Nam War and reflect on their history. Marine veteran of Viet Nam, former Secretary of the Navy and current U.S. Senator from Virginia, James Webb , wrote an article in 2000 that speaks to these points:
Heroes of the Vietnam Generation
By James Webb
The rapidly disappearing cohort of Americans that endured the Great Depression and then fought World War II is receiving quite a send-off from the leading lights of the so-called 60s generation. Tom Brokaw has published two oral histories of “The Greatest Generation” that feature ordinary people doing their duty and suggest that such conduct was historically unique.
Chris Matthews of “Hardball” is fond of writing columns praising the Navy service of his father while castigating his own baby boomer generation for its alleged softness and lack of struggle. William Bennett gave a startling condescending speech at the Naval Academy a few years ago comparing the heroism of the “D-Day Generation” to the drugs-and-sex nihilism of the “Woodstock Generation.” And Steven Spielberg, in promoting his film “Saving Private Ryan,” was careful to justify his portrayals of soldiers in action based on the supposedly unique nature of World War II.
An irony is at work here. Lest we forget, the World War II generation now being lionized also brought us the Vietnam War, a conflict which today’s most conspicuous voices by and large opposed, and in which few of them served. The “best an brightest” of the Vietnam age group once made headlines by castigating their parents for bringing about the war in which they would not fight, which as become the war they refuse to remember… To read the full article, click