Today, April 22nd, is the anniversary of President Nixon’s death.
In the epilogue to my book MRS. LIEUTENANT: A SHARON GOLD NOVEL, Sharon visits the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington D.C. in April 1994 just when President Nixon died:
Ahead of Sharon appears the spot where the two sides of the wall meet. At the bottom of the last west panel is the date 1975 – the last year of casualties – with the inscription:
Our nation honors the courage, sacrifice and devotion to duty and country of its Vietnam veterans. This memorial was built with private contributions from the American people. November 11, 1982
At the top of the first east panel appears the date 1959 – the first year of casualties – with the inscription:
In honor of the men and women of the armed forces of the United States who served in the Vietnam War. The names of those who gave their lives and of those who remain missing are inscribed in the order they were taken from us.
"In the order they were taken from us."
How eerie to be walking this path now. Richard Nixon, the president who escalated and then ended the Vietnam War, has just died at the age of 81. Many of the Vietnam War dead lived less than one-fourth of that time.
It seems fitting to contemplate the Vietnam War dead today on the anniversary of Nixon’s death because Nixon’s Presidency was so intertwined with the Vietnam War, which is the backdrop to MRS. LIEUTENANT.
To remember those who died in Vietnam, go to http://thewall-usa.com/ – The Vietnam Veterans Memorial Wall USA website is dedicated to honoring those who died in the Vietnam War. Since it first went on line in 1996 it has evolved into something more. It is now also a place of healing for those affected by one of the most divisive wars in our nation's history.
And as today is also the Jewish holiday of Pesach, it seems fitting to remember the Jews killed serving in the U.S. armed forces in Iraq and Afghanistan. The website Jewsingreen.com has a memorial list posted by SGT Brian Kresge on April 21, 2008, at http://www.jewsingreen.com/home/blog/comments/numbers/
To support deployed military personnel and their families today, go to http://www.mrslieutenant.com/support.php