Ithought these old remarks of mine, written in the ’70s, might be of interest today, especially considering many Americans compare our extended involvement in the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan to Vietnam. I presented these thoughts to a graduating class at Willard High School. These were my thoughts then, on a war that held America’s attention. Sadly, there is much more to hold our attention today, and the Afghanistan and Iraq war gets much less media play, and therefore people are much less concerned about it. Or are we less concerned? Are we just less vocal about our concerns? Now there’s something to consider.
Too many had suffered too much at the hands of tyrants. We were determined that never again would our sons go to war. But they did. To Korea. And then that was settled. And then again we swore that we had become too intelligent to fight war.
Again, we weakened. We became involved in Vietnam.
I would assume that you have mixed emotions about the war; that your sense of duty tells you, “No, we should be there.”
Personally, however, I am bitterly opposed to it. Sometimes, I confess, when I watch TV or read in the papers of the hippies and yippies and militants who are opposed to the war, and the sickening things they do to demonstrate against it, I wonder if I am on the right side or not.
But I’m convinced I am. I shall remain privately and publicly opposed to the war in Vietnam because, first, of our loss of the cream of our young men, because secondly of the economic drain on our people,  because third, I don’t think it is our right to meddle in the society, politics, government and culture of a people so different from us that we can’t understand their ways and they can’t understand ours.
Now why am I telling you this?
I’m not telling you in order to arouse you to action, I’m telling you because I think it is important for you to know that someone besides a beard can protest Vietnam. I’m telling you because I hope it will reaffirm your faith.
Our government is a good one, the best devised so far in history. But it does now, and likely always will, need some polish.
I challenged the students then and I challenge you now.


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