America, then and now |

America, then and now

The news of the replica of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial coming to Aspen in May brought back memories so vivid they seemed like yesterday. I was perched up in a tree with several other Vietnam Vets watching an estimated 500,000 people march down Pennsylvania Avenue in Washington, D.C. It was the “Out Now” march (out of Vietnam, 1972).

We were there as Vietnam Veterans Against the War (VVAW). John Kerry (yes, the presidential hopeful) had already testified to Congress (as a decorated military officer) against our presence in Vietnam and had returned his medals. He was instrumental in the formation of the VVAW. My house became the Delaware regional VVAW headquarters. The Mothers for Peace joined us in our protests.

I urge all to go see the Memorial Wall. Visualize the magnitude of the names on the wall. Reflect on where this country has been and contemplate where it is going. Just as a single grain of sand can start a beach, your vote can change the course of this country.

I, for one, now have a person (not a “party,” mind you) to vote for. The fact that he protested against what he believed to be wrong, and became the focal point that spurred so many of us Vets to also speak out, is why I would now vote for John Kerry. Yes, some will say that one action does not define a person. Perhaps so, but I would say that not taking action does define a person.

Gary Pax