by Nick. J
At the beginning the Vietnam War attracted very little attention. A lot of people knew the US had advisers in Vietnam. There seemed to be no reason to be worried. To an average American, Vietnam was nothing but a small out of the way country; of little concern. An average American probably could not even find Vietnam on a map.
The public awareness of Vietnam changed in 1965 when president Johnson deployed the first American troops to join the fight. In just a few years, the number of American troops jumped to 500,000. The Vietnam War divided America in many ways. For example; at first public opinion surveys showed that many Americans supported the war and the governmental policies that sent them to Vietnam. As the war continued though, the public came to disagree with the political decisions that kept the troops in Vietnam. Americans vigorously protested this war and showed their disdain for the service men when they came home from tour.
It was not until 1982 that veterans from the Vietnam War received true recognition for their service. On Veteran's Day that year the Vietnam veterans were dedicated in Washington D.C.. The "V" shaped wall was inscribed with 58,000 names, each belonging to one of the soldiers who gave their life. The wives and mothers of the soldiers looked for the names of their husbands and sons.
Although the Vietnam War has been over for about 20 years, we will always remember the brave soldiers that gave their lives for this country. All gave some ... some gave all.