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I watched the Ken Burns documentary on the Vietnam war which concluded last week and I have some thoughts I’d like to share about it.

Vietnam is my generation’s shared history.  It continues to tug at us like a hungry ghost but unlike our parents, for whom WW2 was a defining moment, we don’t have any sense of a common experience about it.  Everyone’s war was different whether one fought or didn’t, supported or protested, or even just watched the body count climb on TV every night. It has made it difficult for us to talk about it or to find a way to relate to each other’s experience.

It struck me, as I watching, that there is a place where we have common ground and shared experience.  We all, in country and back home, listened to the same music.  The Beatles, Otis Redding, Bob Dylan, The Stones, Janis Joplin, Jimi Hendrix, they are all there.  If anything, the legacy of my generation is it’s music. The fact that our children and grandchildren grow up singing Beatles tunes and know the words to Blowin’ in the Wind is testament to the longevity of that legacy and maybe this is where we come together.

 

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