Saturday, May 1, 2010

Happy FOSD!

Older Americans lived through 1942. The attack on Pearl Harbor was fresh in the minds of everyone. The Japanese were on the roll in island hopping and establishing outposts across a vast expanse of the Pacific. Europe was a huge mess and not nearly as messy as it would become. U.S. Marines would pay a heavy price and be marched to torture, sickness and death on Bataan.

In what seems now like an incredibly short interval, less time than the average kid spends in high school, things were turned around. Heavy losses were turned into victories, and an incredible national effort, primarily with Britain and the Soviet Union, brought hostilities to an end in 1945.

Americans win. We always do. We've grown up with that unyielding vision of ourselves. And for the most part, it's been good for the world when we do.

We remember June 6, 1944, the Normandy invasion known as "D-Day". We remember V-E Day and V-J Day.

Not many of us remember Fall of Saigon Day, FOSD. There won't be any parades calling that to mind for us. But for family members who lost loved ones in America's 16 years of war in Southeast Asia, April 30, 1975 will be a day they always carry with them. Nobody will go around wishing someone else a Happy Fall of Saigon Day!

But it's something a generation will always carry. That's why they've become so good at making their own parades. This I'm willing to bet: There would be no such thing today as the Patriot Guard Riders if Hanoi had fallen on 04/30/75 instead of Saigon. Notice what the owner of this bike is?

If war is much too important to be left up to the generals, its aftermath is also much too important to be left up to the veterans. It's for all of us.
Yesterday was FOSD. I hope it was a happy one.

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