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Blog Post 10/28 Maggie Otradovec

The Vietnam War has been a controversial topic since it’s beginning in 1954. One of my first experiences learning about the Vietnam War was by watching the movie Forrest Gump, in which the titular character fights overseas and later accidentally speaks at an anti-war protest in D.C. Similar to Zinn’s chapter “The Impossible Victory: Vietnam,” the movie does not glorify the war, but rather shows it through the eyes of Tom Hanks’ character, which is a simplified, but still valuable depiction. The war was not popular by any means. Many believed it was unconstitutional, and many men avoided the draft. As seen in Forrest Gump, there were anti-war protests. The anti-war sentiment was also held by many civil rights activists, including Martin Luther King Jr. and famous boxer Muhammad Ali.

The Vietnam War is another historical event that is seemingly glossed over in history classes. I did not learn about the Vietnam War in school until high school, and, even then, it was not covered extensively. Despite the fact that the war was so unpopular, it seems as though no one wants to talk about the atrocities committed in Vietnam. The country had unbelievable amounts of damage and casualties, all because the United States got involved in a war it had no business being in.

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  1. Christopher Wilson Christopher Wilson

    I remember reading The Things They Carried in my senior year of high school. My English instructor did a great job analyzing the short-term and long-term effects the Vietnam War had on Veterans and America in general. Before reading Zinn, I did not realize the scale and scope of America’s colonialist actions in Vietnam. I wonder: Is it so dangerous to not be exceptional if it means that global peace can be maintained?

  2. Christina Glynn Christina Glynn

    Forest Gump was my first introduction to the Vietnam war as well which is honestly surprising that it wasn’t that much different than Zinn only simplified. I feel that the Vietnam War is not talked about as much as it should be.

  3. Alexandra Oloughlin Alexandra Oloughlin

    The Vietnam War is definitely the American War that I knew the least about. I never really learned about it in high school and what I learned was simple and did not go into the nitty-gritty. Do you think this is because of the lack of support for the war or because it is was not successful?

  4. Annie Waters Annie Waters

    I definitely have seen a similar lack of education on the Vietnam War where I’m from. In high school, my US history class didn’t cover any content after the Reconstruction Era, so I literally never formally learned about the Vietnam War. I think it’s awful that it’s an aspect of American history that is so scarcely studied in depth. I think the Vietnam War is one of the most objectively immoral examples of US military involvement, and all American citizens should learn about it to understand what went wrong.

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