I never fought in Vietnam…my parents never had to worry…to fear…to morn…for the simple reason my draft number was connected to the day that I was born.


I sat watching draft numbers being picked…wondering what I was going to do until my birthday draft number was finally called and I was 322.


As luck would have it I had a friend whose birthday was number 4….So I went off to college…while he went off to war.


A war that had been raging for 9 years…causing pain and grief and tears…

Sadly, the anguish and the agony of that war would rage on for 10 more years.


The soldiers who went off to fight…young men and women side by side…like any soldier in any war…they served, they fought…some died.


Over 58.000 young men and women died in that war…a number both sad and profound…some of their bodies never made it home…to this day they’ve never been found.


But those who returned alive from that Vietnam…found their war was out of fashion…they did not receive their country’s glory…nor their countrymen’s compassion.


It was a war that divided our county…pitting Americans against each other…

In the streets, to protest a war, we fought with our own sisters…our own brothers.


Yesterday we stopped at a park near a downtown South Florida neighborhood…where, to our surprise, a replica of the Vietnam War Memorial stood.


The wall was erected to memorialize these soldiers…whose lives went un-completed…with the hope the lessons from that war would never be forgotten…or repeated…


In a solemn, sobering moment I was filled with sadness…tears began to fall as I ran my fingers across the name of my friend upon that wall.


How sad it was to gaze out on all those names…trying to ascertain…after watching what Americans did to Americans this week…if my friend and all his friends hadn’t died in vain.


Wondering in the aftermath of a week where we ignored old lessons…where old mistakes were, once again, repeated…how many more people will be hurt…how many more lives will never be completed.


Wondering if it’s possible, as I ran my fingers along that wall…if there will ever be a time when there’ll be no wars at all…


I believe it is possible, without war, for people to come together, to compromise, to help their hate and anger cease…I believe every language has a word for this…

I believe that word…is PEACE

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