Wednesday, May 18, 2011

A Response to Patriots by Christian Appy

Jean M. Acciavatti
Haverhill High School
May 18, 2011

Response to Patriots

Christian Appy has taken on a huge undertaking with the penning of this volume. The scores of interviews of Vietnamese and Americans- some well known, others just everyday people- is daunting. One thing is clear. Most people are very opinionated about the Vietnam War. As a child during the war, I was very aware of the antiwar sentiment- at least from the media's perception of it. One of the things I didn't know however were that there were theatre troupes whose mission it was to protest. I had no idea that many Vietnamese simply considered themselves that- not northern and not southern. I never really thought about what Vietnamese children thought about the war- but they must have had strong feelings given the part many played in both formal and informal battle. How many of them had witnessed the horrors and were simply 'playing' them out without realizing the finality of it all. Soldiers and other leaders who were merely doing their jobs suffered much ill will as did their own families. It is also amazing to me that prewar most Americans had never even heard of Vietnam and couldn't find it on a globe before the war. And most agree that nothing that was happening in Vietnam had much bearing on American life. The Vietnamese were interested in developing themselves—so --why were we there?

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