Cal and I just finished watching the Last Days of Saigon, a documentary on the Vietnam War. I was eighteen as the war came to an end, but I had no idea how hard certain Americans worked, and with what risks, to get as many South Vietnamese as possible out of Saigon during the last twenty-four hours of the war.
According to Wikipedia, the Vietnam War lasted from November 1, 1955 until April 30, 1975. I grew up with it, with the fear that boys I knew might be drafted, and the relief that I wouldn’t be, even as I knew it didn’t make any sense that only the boys were drafted. As a family, we watched scenes from the war every night on the CBS News with Walter Cronkite. We saw photos in Life Magazine. I wore POW bracelets and MIA buttons. I judged Lt. Calley (who lives in Columbus, Georgia) for his part in the physical horror of the My Lai Massacre until I understood the psychological horror that war can afflict on soldiers.
How can America not take Syrian refugees? This is what we do. As Sarah Laurence wrote in her post on the subject, “The terrorists win twice if they can rob us of compassion along with lives.”