The second volume has been put to print and will soon be available through Amazon, Barnes and Noble, etc. We have added a few new touches for this collection of letters delivered to The Wall in 2017 and 2018 — for one, we have provided detailed time lines for 1967 and 1968, marking the fiftieth anniversaries of those times. Much of the material covers the resistance to the war on the home front. We have also included two maps of Viet Nam —one showing the areas of operation that the U.S. military applied to the country. In addition, we have a glossary of terms that pop up in letters as veterans slip into military jargon. Finally, we have indexed letters by the author’s name; we have set up a table of contents by “title” of letters (actually they are pull quotes); and if a name on The Wall was referenced in a letter, we have provided an index to where that name appears on The Wall. Essentially, we have looked upon this collection as an educational tool that we hope people will put in school libraries. And, oh, by the way, YOUR LETTER is in this collection. Thank you for furthering the discussion of this war that still remains with us in many ways….. Best, Doug
Toward an honest commemoration of the American War in Vietnam
The Full Disclosure campaign is a Veterans For Peace effort to speak truth to power and keep alive the antiwar perspective on the American war in Viet Nam — which is being commemorated during this decade with a series of 50th anniversary events. Full Disclosure represents a clear alternative to the Pentagon’s current efforts to sanitize and mythologize that war, and to thereby legitimize further unnecessary and destructive wars.
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50 Years Ago
April 1 President Nixon orders Calley released pending his appeal.
Draft Bill – A 2-year extension of the draft passed the House (239-99) in a roll-call vote. The Senate also passed the bill 24 Jun 71 following a long debate, lasting from 6 May through 24 Jun 71. 48% of manpower for the Army were draftees or “draft motivated”.
April 7 President Nixon claims that setting a firm date for troop withdrawal would “serve the enemy’s purpose, not our own.”
April 18-23 2,300 Vietnam Veterans arrived to Washington, DC to participate in Dewey Canyon III (named because the code name for the then current invasion of Laos was “Dewey Canyon II,” which itself was named after Dewey Canyon I, the invasion of Laos in 1969), “a military incursion into the country of Congress”. Vietnam Veterans Against the War (VVAW) and Gold Star Mothers for Peace (representing mothers who lost sons in combat) attempt to place a memorial wreath at Arlington National Cemetary. The Nixon Administration denies them entrance to the grounds. Led by VVAW, the vets camped on the mall 1/4 mile from the Capitol, lobbied Congress, on April 21, defied a Supreme Court order to disperse, and on April 23, threw away thousands of military medals and ribbons at the foot of the statue of Chief Justice John Marshal near the Capitol Builidng. The demonstration was unprecedented in the history of the country as veterans protested in a unified and dramatic way their opposition to the war.
April 24 10 days of protests attracting 200,000-500,000 by a group calling themselves the “Mayday Tribe” included attempted work stoppages at several federal offices in Washington, DC
April 29 Total American deaths in Vietnam surpass 45,000.
April 30 The last U.S. Marine combat units leave Vietnam.
2016 National Book Award Finalist, Viet Thanh Nguyen:
“All wars are fought twice, the first time on the battlefield, the second time in memory . . . . Memory is haunted, not just by ghostly others but by the horrors we have done, seen, and condoned, or by the unspeakable things from which we have profited.”