I was trying to explain all of this to Cameron. It is so hard to explain to a ten year old the devastation of war and the difference between World War II and Vietnam.
Although ASU was mild compared to universities like Stanford, University of Wisconsin, and University of California/Berkley, I remember the protests that went on at ASU. Probably the scariest time was when the students in Ohio were killed by the National Guard causing riots on university campuses all ocross the United States.
I tried to explain to him how I personally felt about the Vietnam War. I was against it, but always felt so badly for how the soldiers were treated when they came home by the people in this country. I believe that our country learned a valuable lesson about how awful we treated our veterans.
There were also several young men from Douglas who I knew who were drafted during that time. Nine young men from Douglas were killed during this war and I knew most of them. I went to school from kindergarten through high school with some of them.
So visiting "The Wall" was something I wanted to do to remember that time in our history and the young men that I knew who died in Vietnam. One of my favorite children's books is "The Wall" by Eve Bunting. It tells the story of this Wall to children in a very heartfelt way. Children's books can often capture moments in time through the use of pictures and words that are simplistic, yet profound. If you haven't read this book, I highly recommend it.
I found this poem on the website for the Vietnam War Memorial. It truly made me think about the cost of war to our nation and those troubled times more than 40 years ago.
Be not ashamed to say you loved them, though you may or may not have always. Take what they have taught you with their dying and keep it with your own.
And in that time when men decide and feel safe to call the war insane, take one moment to embrace those gentle heroes you left behind.
Major Michael Davis O'Donnell
1 January 1970
Dak To, Vietnam
Listed as KIA February 7, 1978