The Vietnam war was the occasion for political awakening for millions. As a graduate of high school in 1963 I had little awareness. I thought segregation was wrong, the Vatican Council good, and that nuclear weapons were bad. That all changed as we built up to 500,00 troops in Vietnam, friends of mine died in battle, and we inflicted horrible suffering on the Vietnamese.
John Kerry was a bold gun boat commander who won the Silver Star, Bob Kerrey lost a leg in combat, and John McCain was shot down and then subjected to harsh imprisonment. - gwc
Moving On in Vietnam, but Remembering Its Lessons - The New York Times
by John Kerry, John McCain, Bob Kerrey
"AS President Obama visits Vietnam, we are struck by the fact that most citizens of both countries have no living memory of a conflict that claimed the lives of more than 58,000 Americans and upward of a million Vietnamese.
As Americans who fought in that war, we are frequently asked about its lessons. There are few easy answers, in part because every conflict is unique and because we have learned that attempts to apply past lessons to new crises sometimes do more harm than good. But a few things are clear..."