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Reliving the Vietnam Experience.

Posted By Cliff Tuttle | September 29, 2017

No. 1,354

Image: wmmq.com

Ken Burns’ Vietnam War just completed its original run tonight. It is the saga of my generation, coming of age in the turbulent ’60’s.  Watching those familiar scenes of bombings and firefights made me feel profoundly sad.  One good friend said that seeing it all again made her remember how angry she had been. Another said that after these past two weeks, he does not feel patriotic anymore.

As the narrator stated, there were things we have forgotten and things we never knew.  It was, in many ways, a secret war. But in others, it was the first one fought on television. The public had an opportunity to see the incredible carnage and destruction.  And yet, the close-up view somehow failed to convey the totality — thirty years of large scale killing of combatants and noncombatants that just went on and on and on.

The Vietnam War divided this Country and its families as never since the Civil War.  In some ways, this rift never healed.Burns’ signature production, the Civil War, previously demonstrated like no documentary ever had, the terrible toll of that war.  And now, a century later, we’ve outdone ourselves.

On the other hand, there were also many inspirational moments.  Pay close attention to the amazing stories told by survivors from all sides, including families waiting at home, prisoners of war, Viet Cong fighters, CIA agents, campus demonstrators and others who lived through it all. But most of all, pay attention to the voices of those who fought the war — Americans and Vietnamese.  There are countless heroes in their number.  They deserve to be remembered.

And for those who consider the study of history a waste of educational dollars, I suggest that there are hard lessons of the Vietnam Experience to be applied today and tomorrow.



CLIFF TUTTLE has been a Pennsylvania lawyer for over 45 years and (inter alia) is a real estate litigator and legal writer. The posts in this blog are intended to provide general information about legal topics of interest to lawyers and consumers with a Pittsburgh and Western Pennsylvania focus. However, this information does not constitute legal advice and there is no lawyer-client relationship created when you read this blog. You are encouraged to leave comments but be aware that posted comments can be read by others. If you wish to contact me in privacy, please use the Contact Form located immediately below this message. I will reply promptly and in strict confidence.

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