The Vietnam War

The Vietnam War, 1965-1975, was a war not just fought overseas but a war fought in our own backyard. This war would expose the American people to the true colours of our military and our own citizens. When people hear the words Vietnam War, they think of failure, embarrassment, waste of American lives, and the nightmares that will stain the rest of our grandfathers and grand uncles lives’.

Journalism and journalists had a major impact on this war. Journalists, as young as 18, would be shipped by the dozens to capture and tell the Americans back home of their first hand experiences of the horrors and bloodshed they and the soldiers had to face. The photographs taken by these brave journalists would cause a storm to brew in the states back home. Storms such as Kent State, where four students would be shot and killed in a protest to end this ghastly war and get their friends and brothers home. Or when history would be made when anywhere between 15-20,000 doves, anti-war protesters, marched straight to the front gates of the White House, in Washington, D.C. to protest the war. This war cost many mothers and fathers their sons, but it showed the American people that whether you’re black or white, we can think the same. These anti-war and pro-war protests showed that colour doesn’t matter when we are fighting the same enemy. Pictures of these protests, pictures of blacks and whites fighting, for once, not against each other but with each other, would spread throughout the U.S..

The 60’s was a shameful time for America, racism was at one of its highest peaks with the establishment of Jim Crow laws being enforced in the South. Then President Kennedy, a man who would help end segregation and help unify the U.S., would be assassinated. And tensions between the U.S.S.R. and U.S. with the Cold War was horrifying. There was no unity in the nation. Then President L.B.J., in 1965, went to war with the communist nation, Vietnam, to try to stop the spread of communism across the world. American’s didn’t totally oppose the war at first, in fact most were for it; however things would change in 1970 when the military draft was enforced. 2.2 million men between the ages of 18-26 were forced to leave their daily lives to be deployed to Vietnam to fight. This caused a change in America’s attitude towards the war. Men were stripped of their rights for a war most didn’t know much about. In 6 days, it will mark the 44th anniversary of the end of this dreadful war.  A war that showed unity and power in the American people through the states, bloodshed overseas, and nightmares all across the nation that will last forever.