To the editor:
I am a member of the board of directors of the National Committee for Responsible Patriotism. We have created a website to honor Vietnam vets for their service to our country (homewithhonor.us). We do not take a position for or against the war.
Our Vietnam veterans have been told, and our history classes teach, that there was no big homecoming parade comparable to those in New York City after World War I and II. And that’s what nearly everyone believes. But it’s nonsense.
On March 31, 1973, the day the U.S. withdrew our troops from Vietnam, they celebrated Home With Honor Day in New York City to welcome them back. A thousand on-duty servicemen, from all the services, marched a 2-mile parade route up Broadway through Times Square. At Central Park, they were seated in grandstands and served refreshments for hours while over 150,000 people marched past them to say “thank you” and “welcome home.” One hundred bands performed. That night, the men were honored guests at a $100-a-plate banquet, highlighted by top entertainers. Did you know about this great event?
Did you know that the third-longest parade in U.S. history, to support our men in Vietnam, took place during the middle of the war? A quarter of a million people marched for nearly nine hours. Did you know that while there was all-out national coverage of anti-war protests, huge widespread activities in support of our GIs received little news media attention outside the areas where they took place?
A totally incorrect picture of attitudes toward those in uniform was projected, and the ludicrous belief that there was widespread hostility to our GIs was established through the power of the media.
All of the events mentioned above are documented on our website, homewithhonor.us.
Voorhees Dunn, Ph.D