Saturday, November 11, 2006

Veteran's Day

Last weekend I was in Washington DC, and paid my first visit to the Vietnam Memorial. The memorial is a kind of Wailing Wall for the Vietnam generation of veterans, who gently touch the names, and leave folded notes at the base. No one there was talking; the place has an austere beauty that the garish new World War II memorial just down the mall cannot approach.

I stood, as John Kerry advised, right in the middle.
    Next time you're in Washington, take a moment to walk down to the Vietnam War Memorial, if you haven't done it.

    As you walk down that path into the center of the V and you stand in the V, you can look up one end and you'll see 1960 -- earlier, 1959 -- all the way through parts of 1968, and then the other side of the wall brings us toward the end. And half the names on that wall, half the names -- stand in the center of it and look up at tens of thousands of young Americans -- half the names on that wall were lost after America's leaders knew and later acknowledged our strategy wasn't working. It was immoral then and it is immoral now to be quiet or equivocal in the face of that kind of delusion. Just think about what that Wall might look like for this war.
To all veterans of all our wars, thank you.

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