From The Pastor At St. Paul's UCC, Freeburg, IL

Go To The Wall

vietnamwallThe Vietnam Memorial Moving Wall has come to Freeburg, and I participated in the opening services. It was quite moving for me to see this wall, and the 58,000+ names on it. It all brought back a lot of memories, as I was in college during those wonderful years 1969-1973. While I have no relatives whose names are on the wall (that I know if), I have friends whose relatives died in that war.

I’m stunned to think of how much has changed since 1969 – the year of Woodstock, the year of the lottery draft. I asked one of my parishioners there at the ceremony what they were doing in 1969. She said she didn’t remember, she was in second grade! Knock me over!

In complete disclosure: I was a hippie wannabe in those days. I had long hair, participated in The Moratorium (lo0k it up if you don’t remember), marched in protests – no demonstrations though, I was too weenie for that. Times have changed; I’m older and wiser and far more conservative. Though I still have my questions about that war, I have NO questions about the men and women who didn’t get to go to Woodstock, didn’t get to go to college on daddy’s dime, who went half the world away to risk their lives in a crazy war, 58,000+ of whom never came back.

If we don’t remember, we’ll have learned nothing.

If we don’t remember, we’ll have nothing of lasting value to give to our children.

Go to the wall.


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