Book Trailer The Noble Train

Thursday, September 28, 2017

Watching Ken Burns Vietnam

What can you say. Go backwards from the wall and those 58,000 names. All those people who were just like you and me. All those people who never came back. And then you go back into the jungle and watch them die and see their wounds and hear their mothers and sisters and wives talk. And then you see the men now talking about what happened and they are back there. And it goes on for two hours every night and sometimes you drift off but you want to stay in there.

Kent state. The students who are shot down. The guardsmen who shot them. The people who spat on the vets when they came home. The vets who came home and thought about killing themselves. The POWs who somehow survived to return to their homes and meet their children on the tarmac who are six or seven years older. The solider who bends down to kiss the ground.

And everyone cries. They cry when they get the telegrams telling them their son died and they cry forty years later talking about it. The Viet Cong cry. The US soldiers cry. The families cry. And finally by the end you realize it is a living thing. The Vietnam War will remain real until everyone is gone and there will just be that wall of 58,000 names.

Then it will be up to us to remember. 

Books by William Hazelgrove