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MEMORIAL DAY

by | May 28, 2021 | Life | 0 comments

My parents’ stories of life during WWII in Germany have always been a part of my life, defining who I am and what can happen when a country gives away its freedom to a narcissistic dictator. Americans today can easily relate to the the Vietnam war as instant media coverage brought images of battles and atrocities into our daily lives. Soldiers coming home from WW II were heroes. Soldiers coming home from Vietnam were ignored.

In the book, Combat and Campus, Sgt. Peter. Langlois and his sister, Annette, share their correspondence during Peter’s service in the Vietnam war. Their correspondence and Annette’s poetry help us to understand how that war impacted an entire generation. It’s a riveting and heart-breaking read.

As a journalist and soldier with the 25th Infantry Division, riding armored personnel carriers into rice paddies, engaging in night time sweeps of the jungle, Sgt. Peter Langlois chronicles the smells, sights, and sounds during some of the darkest days of the Vietnam war from 1968 – ’69. He would return home to a nation still protesting the war in which his younger sister, Annette, had walked to class behind National Guardsmen marching across the University of Wisconsin-Madison campus. Their correspondence and her poetry offer a unique perspective of the war in Vietnam and social change happening at home. Together, they share what was learned and what was lost.

This Memorial Day, let’s remember all the soldiers and families who have suffered because of a war. While we are gathering with our families, having barbeques and picnics, all over the world today, soldiers are still fighting and innocent civilians are mourning. Let’s ask ourselves, “When will it all end?” I believe it’s our duty, as responsible citizens of our amazing democratic United States of America, to chose leaders and representatives who will strive for peace, who will respect our constitution, who will be transparent, who will work for the greater good, who will be guided by the foundations of our country, not their personal ambitions. I personally know what it’s like to lose one’s freedom. We must do everything we can to maintain our democracy.

Learn more about this book and buy at: elmgrovepress.org.