From Wikipedia: “The first U.S. prisoners were released on February 11 and all U.S. soldiers were ordered to leave by March 29. In a break with history, soldiers returning from the Vietnam War were generally not treated as heroes, and soldiers were sometimes even condemned for their participation in the war. The peace agreement did not last.”
I was born nine days later. I’ve always held the war in fascination because of its profound effect on the culture of my youth. Though it did not affect my life directly in anyway, it was a defining moment for the culture in which I grew up. So I am poignantly aware of the fiction surrounding Vietnam in American culture. I’d be happy to talk your ear off about sometime.
On my end, Vietnam is history. I’m young enough that “the 60s” were this thing, that happened, a while back, and it mattered a lot, but you only know that because you’re told about it.
But America, as a culture, is still dealing with it. We’re still fighting that war. And thats fascinating.
Guy – I dunno what to tell you. People doing horrible things in war is something fairly universal, I think. I’m an American. It’s an American game. If it sounds interesting, great. If it doesn’t, I don’t know what you want me to tell you that will make it interesting to you.
Every culture has its own view of war and how war (a fixture of human existence) ties into its identity. I was raised in a generation of people who fought no major wars (but many minor ones) who were reminded of how great and victorious our country was, even though we had just lost a major war (fought just as my generation was born).
I’ve watched my generation transform from being anti-war, to refighting the losses to being pro-war. It’s rather profound.
And I’m glad you’ve chosen to tackle that particular subject matter. I wish I had the courage and clear vision to do that myself.
Read Orwell’s Homage to Catalonia and you’ll see quite clearly each generation goes go boldly and nobly to war and returns wounded and embittered saying, “Never again; not for my children” all the while their children see only bold and noble deeds.
It’s a disease born of our temporal perception, immortal hubris and mortal nature.