Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Ancient history and new life

My honorary grand daughter and her mother came over this morning in search of information. GD has to research information for a class discussion, HS junior, on the Vietnam War. She had a sheet of questions she asked me to respond to, and I realized that to her this is history. To me it all happened a few minutes ago.

I told her, above the bare bones of what she needed to know from me, about the Cambodian and Vietnamese refugees we'd worked with, to help them get ESL and some sort of a life here, and about the American vets who'd come home terribly disabled, and how HP tried to help them get back into the scientific workforce.

And about the old Quaker ladies who had stood in silent protest day after day downtown in the square, in a very conservative town many of whose citizens were fully in support of the war, and what great courage it took to be a pacifist. And about how close that war was to all of us, largely because we had the draft then, and how passionately people felt on both sides. And the flak I took at work for having my organization declared a Peace Site!

She scribbled furiously the whole time I was talking, and it was a surprisingly moving time for me, too, to recall that awful time. When she and her mother got up to leave, I gave them each a decorated egg, a kind of symbol of continuing life. They don't observe Easter, but they accepted it as a token of Spring anyway!

Meanwhile,back in the kitchen, cooking continues, life and drawing go on, and if you'd like to see today's drawing, go here


  1. I was comparatively young during the Vietnam War but certainly remember plenty of it being in the news and the aftermath for our vets as well. A terrible time for all involved.

  2. We had a map of VN on the inside of the furnace closet door and tracked where my brother's best buddy while he was there.

  3. I'm glad to hear that the students are having class discussions about the VNam war - hopefully it will help them learn that war isn't a good thing.


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