Death of a Soldier
He was a first lieutenant and he was killed just four weeks before the end of his tour of duty. He had graduated from West Point near the top of his class, served on the honor committee, completed a course in Ranger training, and volunteered for Southeast Asia. He did not think that anyone should be forced to enter our armed services.
There is nothing extraordinary about a lieutenant–or a soldier of any rank–being killed in Indochina; it has happened to 45,000 of our men so far and the total is still rising. But this lieutenant was not killed in combat. He was not a helicopter casualty or the victim of an accident–there are many accidental deaths in every war. He was the target of a “fragging” (a phenomenon…practically unknown in previous American wars), as he lay sleeping in his billet at Bien Hoa.
–May 17, 1971
Peace Demonstrations, 1971
As they flung away their medals at the Capitol one veteran said, “I am prouder today of the service I have given my country than at any time when I was in uniform.”… Every night at the campsite, hundreds of young men in civilian clothes but with short haircuts appeared, bearing candles. They were active-duty GIs from Fort Meade and Fort Belvoir. On Friday night some 400, this time in uniforms, attended a memorial service organized by the Concerned Officers Movement at the National Cathedral. After a “fiery homily” by William Sloane Coffin, they stood and gave the clenched-fist salute.
–Editorial, May 10, 1971
La Raza, the Land and the Hippies
The hippies assert that their tie to the land grows out of a universal, “natural” link between man and planet. The Chicano land gripe was thus a property hangup. The Chicano, defensive about the remnants of his land and life ways not stolen and raped by the Anglo world, is redefining his cultural linkage with the same soil. The hippie, he senses, can indulge in voluntary poverty. “Mama, send me some bread,” phones a hippie mother in Taos. On the other end a middle-aged voice pleaded to know her daughter’s welfare. “Mama, don’t ask me things, just send me the money. I’m your flesh and blood, right?” To the Chicano, poverty is not a trip but a pit from which, until recently, he could escape only by extended servitude as a migrant worker.
–Peter Nabokov, April 20, 1970
Governor Reagan, who on April 8 had said that “if it takes a bloodbath” to end campus violence, “let’s get it over with, no more appeasement,” has hastened to assure critics that “bloodbath” was a figure of speech.
–Editorial, “The Politics of Manslaughter,” on the killings at Kent State, May 18, 1970