At the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month of 1918, guns fell silent across France. Peace broke out that day, and soon ‘Johnnie came marching home’ back to the U.S. For many years, Nov. 11 was recognized as Armistice Day — a day Americans gave recognition and thanks to our World War I veterans.
A second World War, one U.N. ‘Police Action’ in Korea and 35 years later, the Nov. 11 observance was renamed Veterans Day. Since then, we, as a grateful nation, have given thanks and honor to every veteran — whether they served in France, the Pacific, the cold hills of Korea or a military base stateside.
On Nov. 11, we also gave thanks to the veterans that fought in the sand and deserts of Kuwait, Afghanistan and Iraq. On every other day, I hope we give thanks to the active uniformed servicemen and women that are serving in harm’s way. No matter how complex the mission, or how difficult the task and terrain, our uniformed service members and military families have continually answered our nation’s call.
But we as a nation have let one group of veterans down. From the early 1950’s to the mid-1960’s, we were fighting a very real Cold War. The domino theory — the idea that a communist victory in one nation would lead to a chain reaction of such victories in neighboring countries — was fact. From the White House and Pentagon down to our family dinner tables, domino theory shaped foreign policy and national opinion. All of America felt that we were the Bulwark of Freedom, and that the U.S. was obligated to take a stand against communism.
And in 1965 we did — in Vietnam. Fifty years after the beginning and 40 years after the ending of that war, many Americans fail to move beyond lingering disagreement of the policies that led to that war and the complex issues that escalated and ended it. Back then, many of us never really properly thanked and welcomed home the thousands of men and women who answered our nation’s call to put their lives on the line in the humid jungles, rivers and fire bases of that divided country.
Today, we all have family members, friends or acquaintances that served in Vietnam. It is never too late for us to undo the disservice done to many veterans who returned home and were disdained or ignored 40 years ago. Now is the time to thank a Vietnam veteran for their service. Now is the time to listen to their story.
Sound Publishing recognizes and thanks all our uniformed service members, veterans and military families. During the 50th and 40th anniversary of the Vietnam war, we give special recognition, thanks and honor to our Vietnam veterans and their families.