IT IS TIME FOR A CONGRESSIONAL APOLOGY TO THE
VIETNAM VETERANS OF AMERICA
The 1960’s produced a variety of sweeping changes that forever altered the domestic landscape of America. The civil rights movement, the feminist movement, and the anti-war movement all took front stage at various times, oftentimes overlapping in effort and stride. The times were turbulent to say the least.
In the 21st century many citizens look at what our present domestic landscape resembles and it is very evident that many of the cultural changes of the last half of the 20th century had unintended consequences that are not in this nation’s best interest. The demise of the family in America is one such consequence. The repercussion of the family’s demise is far reaching. Gender wars in America are today commonplace. Serious consideration must now be given to finding and implementing solutions. Solutions are not superficial assessments laced with rhetoric. Real solutions require an understanding of circumstances and events.
A combination of factors during the turbulent 1960s lead directly to an undeclared, yet widely accepted and publicized, new ‘public policy’ in America. This public policy was a first in the history of this nation, perhaps a first in the history of the world. This public policy ‘charged’ the atmosphere during the 60s 70s remainder of the 20th century and continues to charge the atmosphere of the here and now. The ‘charge’ was and is hostility.
Please consider that upon arrival home from a war that may or may not have been justified, military servicepersons; the undisputed vast majority being men many of whom were fathers who had no say in the foreign policy of this nation, men and fathers simply doing what they were ordered to do, those men and fathers were openly berated and denigrated by the public in mass. They were shunned, called outcasts, perverts and killers. They were alienated from society. These men and fathers were told by their military superiors not to wear their uniforms in public. These men and fathers were spit upon and no one within our government said much to dispel such outrageous conduct.
The majority of these men and fathers were dumb founded by the insults, denigration and overt hostility shown them by the public. Many of these men and fathers were injured physically in the war. All suffered emotionally and the emotional trauma they experienced upon arriving home caused many to break, go into hiding or both. They were made to feel guilty for doing that which countless other men and fathers in the military had done for ages; go where superiors tell you to go and do as you are ordered to do for country, for God.
Homeless Vietnam Vets attended the Family Preservation Rally Aug. 18, 2007. They boarded a bus from New York escorted by motorcycled comrades.
Many Vietnam veterans are still with us today. Many have missing limbs and physical scars that attest to the sacrifices of war. All of these men and fathers still carry emotional scars from the calloused indifference and open hostility shown them by the nation. Generations thereafter children of Vietnam veterans, see and feel the pain of their fathers. Many of the children of veterans have lived with and experienced that pain. So have wives and mothers of veterans. It is time to put an end to that pain.
It is time for this great nation to allow a healing to begin. Building the Vietnam War Memorial, ‘The Wall’, was a good start. However, more is needed to quell the fires of hatred, hostility and animosity that were allowed to spread unchecked across this nation. It is time for this nation to put an end to the denigration and alienation of a gender within that began with the denigration and alienation of the returning Vietnam veterans.
Accordingly: We free and great-full citizens of this nation who owe a debt of total gratitude to all veterans from all wars for protecting all of that which we hold dear respectfully ask the Federal Congress of these United States to decree for the world to see
and most importantly for the remaining Vietnam veterans and their families to hear, a formal apology for the despicable unacceptable and wholly unjustified manner in which
Vietnam veterans were treated upon returning home. Veterans do not create nor implement foreign policy in good-times nor in bad. Veterans simply do their sworn duty. Veterans are the backbone of this nation and it is time for this nation’s backbone to stand erect and proud for it has, at all cost, persevered and preserved this nation. A Congressional apology to the veterans of the Vietnam War is appropriate and long over due.
Please join with us once again on August 15 - 17, 2008 at the Lincoln Memorial in Washington D.C. so we may let our Congress know how important an apology is for America’s veterans. America’s veterans and America’s families need your support.
FYI: Please consider that August 18th has special significance for Vietnam veterans. August 18th is Australian Vietnam Veterans Memorial Day, a special day set aside by the Australian government to recognize the significant sacrifices and contributions made by Australian citizens who served in Vietnam.