So, I saw John Fogerty in concert last night. He was sporting a nice set of false teeth, and these new lyrics:
Did you hear 'em talkin' 'bout it on the radio
Did you stop to read the writing at The Wall
Did that voice inside you say
I've seen this all before
From a man who cut his teeth on the issues of the 60s and 70s, Vietnam, and the Nixon administration, this is a person whose reflections on history I take to heart during our own incensed times.
My dad took me to Vietnam Memorial, "The Wall", in Washington DC. He stood before 56,000 names etched into granite and found the name of a friend and touched his hand on the wall and started to cry. And he told me about how that friend was right in front of him when a bullet struck him down. He fell backwards, forcing my dad down, as the jungle came alive with machine gun fire. That could have been my dad, and that would have ended me before I began.
And so he was transported back, 20 years, to a chaotic war for freedom. Happily, today, America's president and the prime minister of Vietnam meet peacefully. Vietnam is a country on the rise, cooperating with democratic countries who buy it's products and send tourists to it's shores. But not because of the death of my dad's friend. 56,000 people died to keep Communism out and to keep it from spreading. Communism stayed, and we left defeated, and today Vietnam is no threat to anyone and a willing member in the world community.
It turns out the voices of John Kerry, the winter soldiers, and the protesters, were right. Did my dad think of that? Was he sad because a good man lost his life for no good reason? Maybe he was hopeful that from those deaths that generation's children would learn a lesson about war.
What would he think about the days we live in now?