The other day, a young lawyer twitted at me about my generation “spitting at vets” when they returned home from Vietnam. This came in response to my twit about students walking out of their graduation ceremony to protest the vice president. While it was unduly defensive, the more important problem was that it was factually wrong.
There were many of us who disagreed vehemently with the Vietnam war. There were a few who spit on returning vets, the “baby killers” to the most radical. This was not, however, a stereotype of my generation, but an anomaly*, which is why a baby lawyer today is aware it happened. So smart and so wrong at the same time.
I was far closer to World War II than a Millennial is to Vietnam. Our fathers fought, and some died, fighting literally Hitler. We were weaned on their suffering and sacrifice. Spare me the presentism of Yippies spitting on returning vets. My generation recognized the sacrifices suffered for this nation. This is one of the many reasons we fight for our rights while others believe them no longer applicable today.
I’ve had my say about Memorial Day before. Nothing has changed.
*Jim Tyre, who is much older than me, emailed to disagree with my choice of the word “anomaly.” Was it the wrong word? It’s defined as “something that deviates from what is standard, normal, or expected,” and it was. It happened, but it was by no means the norm. I’m sticking with it. Tyre’s old and his memory isn’t what it used to be.