Vietnam Veterans Memorial Essay Example for Free

The United States became involved in the Vietnam War in an effort to stop the spread of communism.

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Tim Weiner, Legacy of Ashes: A History of the CIA (New York: 2007), p. 247; George W. Allen, None So Blind: A Personal Account of Intelligence Failure in Vietnam (Chicago: Ivan R. Dee, 2001); Michael Clodfelter, The Limits of Air Power: The American Bombing of North Vietnam (London: The Free Press, 1989), 134; and Barry Miller, “Litton Develops Fighter Air Data Systems,” Aviation Week, September 19, 1960, p. 95.

As the war progressed, American involvement in Vietnam grew with the Communist forces.

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Ho made his first appearance on the world stage at the Versailles peace conference in 1919, following World War I. Wearing a borrowed suit and using the pseudonym Nguyen Ai Quoc (Nguyen the Patriot), Ho presented a letter to the leaders of the victorious nations respectfully asking for recognition of the rights of the Vietnamese people. These rights included equal justice in the courts; freedoms of the press, speech, assembly, education, and travel; and the “replacement of the [colonial] regime of arbitrary decrees by a regime of law.” U.S. President Woodrow Wilson had previously indicated his support for the principle of self-determination, telling Congress on February 11, 1918:

The United States got involved in the Vietnam War to try to put a stop to communism.

While serving as a nurse in the hospital at Great Lakes, IL, we received men who had been wounded in the field every day via air evacuation within twenty-four hours of their rescue. The air evacuation planes made a brief stop in Guam. The men we received were still in the clothes they were wearing when they were injured. Each shift I worked, we would receive the evacuees which were then assigned to the appropriate hospital ward according to the injuries the soldier had sustained. In those days, one of us nurses was responsible for four wards of 50 patients each. We were the "charge" nurses. Naval Corpsmen were assigned to each ward and they were responsible for much of the immediate care of each patient. It was not unusual for a badly wounded soldier to be hospitalized for a year or two as they were not released until they were fit for duty. This was a very intense time for all. I specifically remember the unbelievable patriotism of these boys and men. In spite of their terrible wounds, amputations, and tremendous orthopedic injuries, they were committed to our cause and wanted to get well so they could return to fulfill their commitment. I also remember with a great deal of emotion, the Corpsmen, 18- and 19-year olds, who were surely going to get orders to Vietnam. It was just a matter of time. They knew it and when their orders came, they would come around to tell us. They never complained or questioned it. They left with trepidation and bravery. We lost one of our best Corpsmen over there. He had just been married shortly before he left. His death still brings tears to my eyes. We had a service for him in the Chapel at the hospital. His young wife was there. It hit us hard and the loss still resonates in my heart. These were extraordinary young people. I never heard one of them complain. I am proud to have served the United States of America in the United States Naval Nurse Corps.

As a result, there was no one song that captured the essence of the Vietnam War.


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I went up on the head of the aircraft and opened the cowling to see what damage had been done by the small arms fire. While on the head (main rotor area), I heard the “wizzing” sound of AK-47 rounds over my head and could see North Vietnamese working their way towards us and around sampans pulled up on the beach. The door gunners were engaged in a fire fight of their own with North Vietnamese that were disguised as “friendly farmers”. I jumped off the top of the helicopter, ran to the high sand dune (gunners') position, secured an M-16 with extra clips of ammo, and began to engage the North Vietnamese that were working their way around the sampans.

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Nixon quoted in the Washington Post, June 4, 1969, cited in John Prados, Vietnam: The History of an Unwinnable War, 1945-1975 (Lawrence: University of Kansas Press, 2009), p. 302.

The Vietnam Veterans Memorial: An Essay From Sixth …

Dellinger interview with Tom Wells, in Wells, The War Within, p. 162; and James W. Clinton, The Loyal Opposition: Americans in North Vietnam, 1965-1972 (Niwot, Colo.: University Press of Colorado, 1995).

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Pham Van Chuong, quoted in Jessica Frazier, Women’s Antiwar Diplomacy during the Vietnam War Era (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 2017), p. 3; Hershberger, Traveling to Vietnam; and Dagmar Wilson, “WSPers Return from Jakarta,” Memo 3, no. 24 (July 31, 1965), 2, quoted in Frazier, Women’s Antiwar Diplomacy, pp. 16-17.