Dave Law, Vietnam veteran
Northville, MI, USA
As a decorated combat veteran of Vietnam, I was always struck by the oxymoronic description of our mission -- "fighting for peace." But reflection shows that it was an apt description for what happened -- not in Vietnam, but here at home. Taken to the brink of a civil war, our country recovered, and learned many valuable lessons. Among them: 1) Even great governments can make mistakes, and in a functioning democracy, the people can set things straight; 2) those who fought the war and those who resisted were motivated by courage and conviction (that a protester can become Commander-in-Chief validates our system); 3) we must always scrutinize and scrutinize again our motives and moral basis for considering military action; and 4) the power of reconciliation is immense -- the "Wall" is an awesome sight, and we can sanctify the sacrifices made by those named by remembering the lessons of Vietnam. In short, there is no shame in the Vietnam experience, unless we fail to learn from it. May God have grace on all who experienced the war in Vietnam.