Yet our own meetings were relegated to such places as…Midway, almost as if we were regarded as lepers by those in whom we had placed our security and with whom we shed so much blood. The visitors could have spared themselves their feelings of embarrassment; each of their hosts was a veteran of the same symptoms. For a single volume, this book is comprehensive. On September 27, Gallup showed Humphrey fifteen points behind his Republican rival. He was killed less than a year after graduation.
So I started shooting, I poured about four clips into the group…. Attorney General John Mitchell thought it was unnecessary. And at a time when the Administration seems bent, however cautiously, on withdrawal from Vietnam, the soldier inevitably asks himself why he should risk his neck in a war nobody wants to win. And I had the rifle laid right on him. And sometimes the loud voice simply dominated. There were people in my unit from odd corners of the South who had never seen a live black person. My radio operator had his rifle on full automatic and finished the job off.
But no one got hurt. In one eight week period alone Operation Breakfast , 25,000 bombs were dropped on an area of less than 10 miles. Two ailing ex-prisoners of war, Robert Frishman and Douglas Hegdahl, who had recently been escorted home by the antiwar activist Rennie Davis, spoke in public for the first time about the treatment they and their fellow prisoners had received at the hands of the North Vietnamese. In many parts of the world—the Middle East, Europe, Latin America, even Japan—stability depends on confidence in American promises. It could not have even been any later than the beginning of the second semester that most of the rules that were in place and had been in place for many, many years no longer existed. Nixon, caught by surprise but eager to take advantage of the new situation, immediately dispatched arms to the undermanned, underequipped Cambodian army.
Rather than taking sides, the book seeks to understand why the war happened the way it did, and to clarify its complicated legacy. If some were spotted, the snipers would open fire with tracer bullets that showed the gunships hovering three hundred yards above them precisely where to direct their fire. Its manufacturers were aware that it contained a toxic chemical—dioxin—that in large doses caused birth defects in mice and produced a disfiguring skin disease in men and women who came in contact with it. I turned the volume up on all that stuff. But he denounced the war as editor of The Daily Nebraskan, and took part in antiwar demonstrations on and off campus. Marmon Momaday, a Native American Cheyenne, told me so when we shook hands. Let us also be united against defeat.
Dad eventually talked a bit about what it was like for him as the son of soldier serving in Vietnam and as an Air Force cadet during the last years of the war long after I'd grown up and moved out of the house. Democratic Party coffers were empty; the Humphrey campaign could not afford to buy a single radio or television spot. And, like a lot of guys from the neighborhood, they had a certain image of what college students ought to be like. Only roughly 2 percent of the officer corps was black. More than forty years after it ended, the Vietnam War continues to haunt our country.
The last time I caught sight of American combat troops close up, on the ground, was late one morning in April 1971, near An Khe Pass. Any project that Ken Burns is involved in has been superlative. With reflections by prominent journalists and writers, including Philip Caputo and Viet Thanh Nguyen, this is a vivid, affecting, definitive, and essential illustrated history. Their leaders assumed that thousands would rally to their cause. When it was over, no one had been hurt, but the entire delegation had sustained considerable damage to its dignity—uncontrollable trembling and wet pants: the all-too-outward signs of inner convulsion.
The panelists are: Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney a. A Gallup poll showed that 58 percent of those responding blamed the students for what had happened at Kent State; only 11 percent blamed the guardsmen. Ward and Ken Burns deliver the grand historical goods in this feast of a book. This book laid it all out. Tranquil afternoon of spring on pavilion site. Who was right and who was wrong? One day, they brought in a young soldier who had a head injury. We understood all too well its horrible destructive force.
And I remember some brothers being very militant. I do not want to lose you, but I do not want to be selfish either…. We still argue over why we were there, whether we could have won, and who was right and wrong in their response to the conflict. On these occasions—when the B-52s had found their mark—the complex would be utterly destroyed: food, clothes, supplies, documents, everything. The general consensus was he needs to go.
Their hope was that we would starve and have to surrender. Lieutenant Schurtz was given a desk job but not reduced in rank. Everybody that walked point got killed or wounded. But I had to bury it. He had been killed in Vietnam the year before. He wants out on the installment plan, but the weekly installments are the lives of one or two hundred American soldiers, and he cannot get away from the insistent question: Why? Rather than taking sides, the book seeks to understand why the war occurred, and how we can clarify its complicated legacy.