This Memorial Day, Veterans For Peace is asking its members and supporters to examine the Vietnam War, in which America became involved 50 years ago.
Ken Barger (President, VFP49): When I served in Vietnam, I came to realize that most people I was fighting were not "communists", but simply common people who were defending their homeland from a foreign invader to impose our vested interests on them... just like we would do. A few years ago when I went back to Vietnam, I found a thriving society and met many gracious people. I had two thoughts:
- If we had just left them alone, they would have been thriving 30 years earlier.
- Oh my God... we're doing the same thing in Iraq!
As we look back, Veterans For Peace asks:
Why did we go to war in Vietnam? What were the long-term actual outcomes of our involvement there, and do these justify the almost 60 thousand Americans lives lost, the millions of Vietnamese who were killed and the millions more who suffered and still suffer, and the hundreds of billions of dollars it cost the American people? Was it worth it?
What lessons can we learn by looking back to help us examine getting involved in future conflicts? For example, if we substitute "terrorism" for "communism" all the rhetoric that got us involved in the Vietnam conflict is exactly the same as we are using today in our Middle East wars. What "pre-hindsights" can we use to make balanced decisions about how to best resolve current and future conflicts, so we don't have to look back 50 years later and realize the same lessons?
What do YOU have to say to those who suffered and died in the Vietnam War?
Veterans For Peace asks that we all write a letterall those who sacrificed their lives and families in the Vietnam War. On May 25, these letters will be placed at the Wall in Washington DC as a remembrance of the costs of war. For more information, please see Memorial Day Letter, and one soldier’s letter.
Please write your letter now! Have your voice heard on May 25! Send you letter to:
Full Disclosure, Veterans For Peace, 409 Ferguson Rd., Chapel Hill, NC 27516
Please pass the word, and ask your family and friends to also write their letters.
Thank you for your efforts to promote peaceful alternatives to conflict as we look ahead to the coming 50 years. Together we can make a difference!