Free Speech or Lack of Humanity

As a young person in the 60’s, I grew up with Dan Rather and Walter Cronkite delivering the nightly news with a reel of video fresh off a plane  from Southeast Asia.  The reporters lead story always involved jungle battles, wounded soldiers, lots of blood, military talk of targets and “charlie” as the enemy.  Cambodia, Laos and Viet Nam was our nightly Geography lesson.  Amidst gunfire and mortar rounds, soldiers were being interviewed by fearless reporters following military units across the jungles. All this, giving a face to the War in Viet Nam for the people back home. 

The second story on the nightly news was usually the Anti War Protests.  These protesters had the right idea of sorts.  The protests were held at Government Buildings, Recruiting Stations and College Campuses.  Signs of “Stop the War”,  “Bring Our soldiers Home” and shouts of “Freedom” could be heard in the background of each report.  One thing strikes me as I look back on those days.  I do not ever recall anyone at a military funeral holding signs of damnation or shouting verbal abuse aimed directly at the parent or spouse of a fallen soldier.  Then gleefully proclaiming joy at their loss and expressing God’s Judgement to the dead.

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The protesters of the 60’s perhaps retained some of their humanity in understanding a family’s loss.  The protesters chants were from their heart.  Only wishing for an end to the daily loss of life.  Regardless whether you agree or disagree with the War, burying a loved one should be left as a private time for that broken-hearted family.

Those much wiser than I are of the opinion that local residents could provide a quiet buffer zone between those cold-hearted souls and a soldiers last solemn moment of light.  A moment of peace is the least we can do.


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9 thoughts on “Free Speech or Lack of Humanity

  1. I remember soldiers talk of being spit on once they returned to the US or being called ‘Baby Killers.’ There were a variety of bad things that happened, not all soldiers were guilty but those Vietnam vets really got it. It was a different kind of disrespect.

    • Yes, it definitely was a different kind. Many soldiers in my town had died. I cannot recall anyone being so inhumane to the families. What is happening now is harrassment to such a degree that I have not seen before. It always strikes a nerve when God is mentioned. God is personal and those protestors basically say God condemns you. Tis not their call.
      This is very disturbing.

  2. I remember when that “church” group came down to protest a local church in San Diego which ministers to a lot of military families. I have to say, I cannot understand what makes these great, horrible signs of disrespect okay within the minds of these protesters!

    From a military wife, I know the sacrifices. From a citizen of a free country, I am filled with awe and gratitude. From a person filled with love, I am hopeful that kind words sparking conversation such as this posts can end these intolerable protests!

    Thank you for this post for so many reasons!


  3. Hi Tara,
    i do not understand this type of disrespect and the threatening tone of this group. Do they really believe they are here to pass judgement? Unbelievable!
    Thanks go to the troops and their families such as yours.

  4. My mind has wandered back to this post a lot this week since learning military members have been notified they may not get paid next month. The federal government freeze will carry over to their pay also! Yes, back pay will be given, but in the mean time they will be required to work without pay until a new budget is signed.

    I get angry when I hear of civilians disrespecting our military members. But really, the federal government telling our service members they may not get paid until the budget gets worked out is even harder for me to swallow.

    Okay, vents over. :-) Sorry, just had to tell you that your post has come to my mind again and again with our newest news.

    • Hey, I vent about these things daily. I still cannot get over the injustice our veterans face. We give Billions to careless banks and unstable countries. Yet the nations veterans and citizens are asked to do without.
      No justice in that.
      Thanks Tara for your comments.

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