Vietnam War

Memorial Day Listener Essay - Danny Nutly

May 22, 2015

  Dan New is a Vietnam Veteran and writer.

Daniel T. Nutly is memorialized on Panel 22E, Row 16 of the Vietnam Memorial in Washington, D. C.

Veterans, peace activists, and an historian will be observing the 40th anniversary of the end of the Vietnam War at a “teach-in.”  The program, which is free and open to the public, is a collaboration of the UMass Amherst History Department and the Veterans Education Project.

The event- “The Conflicting Legacies of the Vietnam War: Why They Still Matter”  is at 7 PM  Thursday April 23 at Goodell Hall  at UMass Amherst.

WAMC’s Pioneer Valley Bureau Chief Paul Tuthill spoke with the director of the Amherst-based nonprofit Susan Leary.

  How did the Vietnam War change the way we think of ourselves as a people and a nation? Christian Appy, author of the oral history of the Vietnam War Patriots, now examines the relationship between the war’s realities and myths and its impact on our national identity, conscience, pride, shame, popular culture, and postwar foreign policy.

Drawing on a vast variety of sources from movies, songs, and novels to official documents, media coverage, and contemporary commentary, Appy offers an interpretation of the war and its far-reaching consequences. The new book is American Reckoning: The Vietnam War and Our National Identity.

He will be speaking about and signing his new book at Odyssey Bookshop in South Hadley, MA on Tuesday, February 24th.

WAMC photo by Dave Lucas

As they did in many cities across the region, people lined the streets of New York's capital today for the 59th annual Veterans Day Parade.  Albany's parade stepped off at the corner of Central Avenue and Partridge Street at 11 a.m. Marchers proceeded down Central Avenue past a reviewing stand on the steps of the old NYS Education Building.    

"Bring the War Home," which had been a rallying cry of the anti-Vietnam-War movement, was transformed on May 4, 1970 into a macabre irony when the Ohio National Guard opened fire on student anti-war protesters at Kent State, killing four and wounding nine. Many, certainly not all, of the anti-war student activists were chauvinist, privileged, white men.

      Drawing on more than a decade of research in secret Pentagon files and extensive interviews with American veterans and Vietnamese survivors, Nick Turse reveals for the first time how official policies resulted in millions of innocent civilians killed and wounded. In shocking detail, he lays out the workings of a military machine that made crimes in almost every major American combat unit all but inevitable.

His book is Kill Anything That Moves: The Real American War in Vietnam.

How did a prisoner of war survive six years and eight months of soul-crushing imprisonment in the Hanoi Hilton during the Vietnam War? By writing poetry. And how did he do it without pencil or paper?

Then-Captain John Borling "wrote" and memorized poems to keep his mind sharp and spirits up. He shared his creations with fellow captives by their only means of communication—the forbidden POW tap code. Rapping on the cell walls with his knuckles, he tapped poems, certainly of pain and despair, but also of humor, encouragement, and hope, to keep everyone’s strength and spirits alive.

John Borling joins us to talk about Taps on the Walls: Poems from the Hanoi Hilton.

Malcolm W. Browne, a former Associated Press correspondent who snapped a photo of a Buddhist monk's self-immolation that shocked the Kennedy White House into a re-evaluation of its Vietnam policy, has died. He was 81.

His wife, Le Lieu, says Browne died Monday night at a hospital in New Hampshire, not far from their home in Thetford, Vt. He had Parkinson's disease for more than a decade.

Browne was the only foreign journalist at the scene when an elderly monk was doused in aviation fuel in Saigon in June 1963 and set himself aflame.