The Austin American-Statesman paid a stirring tribute to veterans of the Vietnam War while commenting recently on the dedication in Austin of the Texas Vietnam Veterans Memorial.
The paper’s editorial is linked here:
It brings to mind the age-old canard that many critics of that war – and other wars as well – toss out without thinking. They keep lamenting that Americans too often “die in vain.” It was said of the 58,000-plus Americans who died during the Vietnam War. Those who said it were wrong then. Those who say such things about the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan are wrong now.
No one who goes to war in response to his or her country’s call – and then pays the ultimate price – does so “in vain.” They are doing their duty as Americans. Their country calls on them to fight and they respond. Those who have given their last full measure of devotion are heroes and every single one of them deserves our eternal gratitude.
To say they die “in vain” is to cheapen their sacrifice.