Clinton Avenue Reformed Church
2017 Blog Number 223
September 16, 2017
Ken Burns and Vietnam
Tomorrow is the day many of us have been anticipating. It is the day that PBS will begin airing Ken Burns’ series on the Vietnam War. I look forward to it. Even though I grew up hearing about the war and have read a great deal about it, I still feel that I have a few pieces missing from my understanding.
Each day we heard “casualty reports” on the radio. People a bit older than me were being drafted and many were never seen in the neighborhood again. People my parents age supported the war and knew that we had to “defeat the communists.” Our churches were divided with older people insisting that we support the war while people of draft age were leaving the church because the church would not support the anti-war movement. Frankly, I think that the Vietnam War is what set in motion the decline of main-line churches.
That is what I know, or think I know, about Vietnam. I am hoping that this television series will help me understand the whole picture. Of course, I have no delusions that I will be able to see all eighteen hours of this study when they are aired. I may just order the boxed set now and watch it when I am able.