Best 76 quotes in «vietnam war quotes» category

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    It became necessary to destroy the town to save it.

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    And if this girl, Mai, is half the woman the U.S. Marines seem think she is ... I am damned sure not going to get in her way.

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    According to historian Ellen Hammer, he (Pres. Kennedy) was, 'shaken and depressed.' to realize that, 'the first Catholic ever to become a Vietnamese chief of state was dead, assassinated as a direct result of a policy authorized by the first American Catholic president.' At one point an aide tried to console him by reminding him that Diem and Nhu had been tyrants. 'No," he replied. "They were in a difficult position.' They did the best they could for their country.

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    A nation forgetting its own laughter is in a sad state of affairs

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    They were at the wrong place at the wrong time naturally they became heroes

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    Combat is fast, unfair, cruel, and dirty. It is meant to be that way so that the terrible experience is branded into the memory of those who are fortunate enough to survive. It is up to those survivors to ensure that the experience is recorded and passed along to those who just might want to try it.

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    An equation: 40,000 dead young men = 3,000 tons of bone and flesh, 124,000 pounds of brain matter, 50,000 gallons of blood, 1,840,000 years of life that will never be lived, 100,000 children that will never be born (the last we can afford: there are too many starving children in the world already).

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    But to a Vietnamese peasant whose home means a lifetime of back-breaking labor, it will take more than presidential promises to convince him that we are on his side.

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    As his boots walked towards the old station, he felt as though he were hallucinating. Scary apprehension increased the beat of his heart and the sweat upon his forehead was cold. The reality of where he stood created a sinking feeling inside of him. An old man everyone called Uncle Tucker once owned this place. His sole existence behind the counter all of the time, day and night. He could have been a creature out of a fairy tale, with his long white beard and equally long white hair. Merlin. The overalls and the ball cap perched upon his head, along with the half-smoked cigar with an endless burning orb positioned in his mouth. It made him a fixture in time. He wondered if Tucker would still be alive. Tucker with his endless stories of the 1960s, the Vietnam War, and flower children. A man that never left a country thousands of miles away where bicycles filled the capital. A man who never left those fields where killing occurred.

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    As modern neurobiologists point out, the repetition of the traumatic experience in the flashbacks can be itself re-traumatizing; if not life-threatening, it is at least threatening to the chemical structure of the brain and can ultimately lead to deterioration. And this would also seem to explain the high suicide rate of survivor, for example, survivors of Vietnam.

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    Because we never got out. We never got out of the green. Our generation died there.

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    Col. James N. Rowe, a United States Army officer who spent five years as a prisoner in Vietnam before escaping in 1968, was shot to death yesterday (April 21, 1989) by gunmen near Manila, where he was a military adviser to the Philippine armed forces. He was 51 years old. Colonel Rowe was being driven to work at the Joint United States Military Advisory Group headquarters in Quezon City, a suburb of Manila, shortly after 7 A.M. when at least two hooded gunmen in a stolen car fired more than 20 bullets into his vehicle. His driver, Joaquin Vinua, was wounded but was reported out of danger. Colonel Rowe was pronounced dead at a nearby military hospital. Communist Rebels Suspected No group immediately claimed responsibility for the attack, but Philippine officials said they believed the killers were Communist rebels. The rebels have threatened to attack American targets unless the United States closes its military bases in the Philippines and ends its support of the Philippine military's fight against the insurgency.

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    During World War II the top secret “Norden XV” or “Blue Ox” otherwise known the Army Airforce’s “Norden M Series Bombsights,” were used up to and including the Vietnam War by all American military aircraft with bomb carrying capabilities. This bombsight was considered a “Canonical Tachometric Design” meaning that it had the ability to measure the aircraft's direction and ground speed. In time the Norden improved its original design by using a computer that constantly calculated the aircraft’s flight characteristic and external wind forces to determine the bomb's impact point. When the B-17 Flying Fortress was designed, it came equipped with a Sperry A-3 Autopilot that only corrected angular deviations in the aircraft’s straight and level course. In time most bombsights were replaced by video displays on the instrument panel. Dumb or gravity bombs were mostly replaced with in-flight guidance bombs, such as laser-guided bombs or those using a GPS system. The last combat use of the Norden bombsight was by the US Navy during the covert “Operation Igloo White” mission when OP-2E Neptune aircraft dropped electronic sensors to detect enemy activity along the Ho Chi Minh Trail. Project CHECO Southeast Asia Report was declassified on May 5, 2013.

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    During the Year of the Monkey, the press, which had hitherto generally supported the war or stuck to feel-good stories of heroism and mateship, vigorously changed its tune. The media reacted to growing middle-class disenchantment with the war: they did not initiate or promote anti-war feeling; they reflected and fed off it.

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    Each day of war takes us farther from all we could hope to be or do. We gain nothing but heartbreak, and lose everything we cherish. Our lives erode and diminish, our children see no future except a calendar of anguish and death. Our only hope for tomorrow is for peace now.

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    Dear Bill, I came to this black wall again, to see and touch your name. William R. Stocks. And as I do, I wonder if anyone ever stops to realize that next to your name, on this black wall, is your mother's heart. A heart broken fifteen years ago today, when you lost your life in Vietnam. And as I look at your name, I think of how many, many times I used to wonder how scared and homesick you must have been, in that strange country called Vietnam. And if and how it might have changed you, for you were the most happy-go-lucky kid in the world, hardly ever sad or unhappy. And until the day I die, I will see you as you laughed at me, even when I was very mad at you. And the next thing I knew, we were laughing together. But on this past New Year's Day, I talked by phone to a friend of yours from Michigan, who spent your last Christmas and the last four months of your life with you. Jim told me how you died, for he was there and saw the helicopter crash. He told me how your jobs were like sitting ducks; they would send you men out to draw the enemy into the open, and then, they would send in the big guns and planes to take over. He told me how after a while over there, instead of a yellow streak, the men got a mean streak down their backs. Each day the streak got bigger, and the men became meaner. Everyone but you, Bill. He said how you stayed the same happy-go-lucky guy that you were when you arrived in Vietnam. And he said how you, of all people, should never have been the one to die. How lucky you were to have him for a friend. And how lucky he was to have had you. They tell me the letters I write to you and leave here at this memorial are waking others up to the fact that there is still much pain left from the Vietnam War. But this I know; I would rather to have had you for twenty-one years and all the pain that goes with losing you, than never to have had you at all. -Mom

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    Dylan's voice was awful, an aged quaver that sounded nothing like the deep-throated or silky R&B that Dad took as gospel. But the lyrics wore him down, until he played Dylan in that addicted manner of college kids who cordon off portions of their lives to decipher the prophecies of their favorite band. Dad heard poetry, but more than that an angle that confirmed what a latent part of him already suspected. This was was bullshit.

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    He says when you're smoking a cigarette with someone, and you have a lighter, you should light their cigarette first. But if you have matches, you should light your cigarette first, so you breathe in the 'harmful sulfur' instead of them. He says it's the polite thing to do. He also says it's bad luck to have "three on a match." He heard that from his uncle who fought in Vietnam. Something about how three cigarettes was enough time for the enemy to know where you are. Bob says that when you're alone, and you light a cigarette, and the cigarette is only halfway lit that means someone is thinking about you.

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    For all those who shared their stories - and for those with stories yet to be told.

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    He could help put a man on the Moon, but he couldn’t count the body bags. Send a satellite spinning, but he couldn’t figure out how many crosses to go into the ground.

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    From 1964 to 1972, the wealthiest and most powerful nation in the history of the world made a maximum military effort, with everything short of atomic bombs, to defeat a nationalist revolutionary movement in a tiny, peasant country-and failed. When the United States fought in Vietnam, it was organized modern technology versus organized human beings, and the human beings won.

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    Funny that the people who aren’t doing the fighting are the most tired of it,” Evan said. “We never knew anything about people being sick of it, or protests, or people thinking we were the bad guys. All our news was censored. We thought everyone would be proud of us, like they are of our dads. We were out there, putting everything on the line every day because that’s what our country told us to do, under conditions that would make a saint afraid to look God in the face, and we were doing our best. I knew there were a few anti-war protests before I left, but I never expected it to be like this…

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    He believed something that he could hardly explain, even to himself. He thought it was a tragedy that would have to be played out, in the sense that water always seeks its own level. In some ultimate sense, there was no one at the controls. The war ran on its own motion...But the thing would not be stopped, because to stop it, simply to end it, would be to repudiate too much. Too many words to eat, too many unforeseen consequences, too much shame, too many unrequited dead. So the war was a force of nature, a wand of the gods...

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    He had not understood that we were combat photographers, and our jobs were as relevant and justifiable—or as irrelevant and unjustifiable—as anyone’s in Vietnam.

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    He was telling war stories. The funny, innocuous ones that made everyone forget that war could leave you without fingers, or legs, or a soul.

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    I believe war should be the last result, but I do believe that when we find ourselves at war, we should unite as a people and not do anything to aid or encourage the enemy. We should stay the course and remember that the people we are defending, though they may not always be Americans, are people dependent upon us to see the conflict through to an end.

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    I have to keep my mouth shut about Nam though. All of these guys want to believe they were fighting an honorable war, and that their conduct deserves respect. They want the public to treat them like they’re heroes—like the WWII vets were.” “Instead, smart ass, pampered kids call them names and throw dog shit at them.

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    I guess it was hard for him to look at the logic behind the draft lotteries, because that same logic had taken away his father. And, anyway, what’s so logical about the day you were born deciding when you might die? That’s just a cruel joke, as I see it.

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    I left Hairball to his manic mantric singing. I walked toward the house and stopped to rub some white pine needles on my fingers. The evergreen smelled fresh and alive. The needles were long and soft to the touch. I looked back at Hairball. The moon had risen higher and Little Meadow was even brighter. The wind picked up Hairball’s singing and blew it away. By the time I got up to the house he had become a silvery ghost dancing in the moonlight, a nowhere man longing to live on the moon.

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    I mean, remember what the Vietnam War was fought for, after all. The Vietnam War was fought to prevent Vietnam from becoming a successful model of economic and social development for the Third World. And we don't want to lose the war, Washington doesn't want to lose the war. So far we've won: Vietnam is no model for development, it's a model for destruction. But if the Vietnamese could ever pull themselves together somehow, Vietnam could again become such a model―and that's no good, we always have to prevent that.

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    I looked at the two enemy prisoners. They were on their stomachs, face down and shaking like everything. I can only imagine the fear they must have felt in their hearts. Thank God we had air superiority on the battlefield.

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    In America, it is reported by some sources that there were more domestic violence related murders in the home than the 58,000 Americans soldiers killed in the entire Vietnam War

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    In America's 'nonlinear war', with no frontline or clear political or territorial goals, the number of enemy killed apparently revealed who was 'winning'. 'The military kill' became 'the prime target, simply because the essential political target is too elusive for us, or worse, because we do not understand its importance'.

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    I slowly dug a stand-up foxhole up to my neck using my helmet. I don’t think any of us slept that night. It was the first time in my tour when I wasn’t sure I would make it. I’m not ashamed to say I did a lot of thinking about home and a lot of praying to the man upstairs.

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    I remember my father, who had served in Vietnam, once talking to me about how real courage is when you're scared out of your mind but you do what you have to do anyway. I didn't feel very courageous at the moment. I felt like a small mouse in the mouth of a lion.

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    I’ve seen a lot of stuff… maybe I’ve seen too much. I see most humans in a bad light because I’ve seen what they can do, how evil they can be… I’ve seen the Holocaust and I’ve seen Jonestown, I’ve seen the Vietnam War and I’ve seen Hiroshima… I’ve seen the Chernobyl disaster… I’ve seen the World Trade Center attack… I’ve been alive too long, over a hundred years is a long time to be alive,” Alecto sighed, staring at the cigarette he was holding.

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    It don't mean nothin

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    I tell the squad a joke: "Stop me if you're heard this. There was a Marine of nuts and bolts, half robot--weird but true--whose every move was cut from pain as though from stone. His stoney little hide had been crushed and broken. But he just laughed and said, 'I've been crushed and broken before.' And sure enough, he had the heart of a bear. His heart functioned for weeks after it had been diagnosed by doctors. His heart weighed half a pound. His heart pumped seven hundred thousand gallons of warm blood through one hundred thousand miles of veins, working hard--hard enough in twelve hours to lift one sixty-five ton boxcar one foot off the deck. He said. The world would not waste the heart of a bear, he said. On his clean blue pajamas many medals hung. He was a walking word of history, in the shop for a few repairs. He took it on the chin and was good. One night in Japan his life came out of his body--black--like a question mark. If you can keep your head while others are losing theirs perhaps you have misjudged the situation. Stop me if you've heard this...

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    It’s not that I had more important things to do or that I didn’t want to help with whatever problems were interfering with her students being successful—rather, it’s this horrible truth that life has taught me: misplaced hope is the most devastatingly painful thing you can give someone.

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    K [Kissinger] called from New York all disturbed because he felt someone had been getting to the P [President] on Vietnam... Henry's concerned that the P's looking for a way to bug out and he thinks that would be a disaster now.

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    Lee Harvey Oswald fired the starting gun of America's nightmare years. This insignificant man's bullets didn't just echo through Dealey Plaza in 1963. The shockwaves from them arguably fuelled the turbulent events of the rest of the 1960s and only dissipated with Watergate and the end of the Vietnam War.

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    Like walking into the darkness our soldier’s went, their lives like cash haphazardly spent. Vietnam was a conflict that was no more than an experiment aimed at humanity's scientific evolvement.

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    Lyndon Johnson was a master of self-justification. According to his biographer Robert Caro, when Johnson came to believe in something, he would believe in it “totally, with absolute conviction, regardless of previous beliefs, or of the facts in the matter.” George Reedy, one of Johnson’s aides, said that he “had a remarkable capacity to convince himself that he held the principles he should hold at any given time, and there was something charming about the air of injured innocence with which he would treat anyone who brought forth evidence that he had held other views in the past. It was not an act… He had a fantastic capacity to persuade himself that the ‘truth’ which was convenient for the present was the truth and anything that conflicted with it was the prevarication of enemies. He literally willed what was in his mind to become reality.” Although Johnson’s supporters found this to be a rather charming aspect of the man’s character, it might well have been one of the major reasons that Johnson could not extricate the country from the quagmire of Vietnam. A president who justifies his actions only to the public might be induced to change them. A president who has justified his actions to himself, believing that he has the truth, becomes impervious to self-correction.

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    Moreover, when the issues at hand seem as perplexing as they often do in the case of this dreadful conflict, we are always on the verge of being mesmerized by uncertainty. But we must move on. Some of us who have already begun to break the silence of the night have found that the calling to speak is often a vocation of agony, but we must speak. We must speak with all the humility that is appropriate to our limited vision, but we must speak.

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    Much of my early career was spent working with two of the most toxic chemicals ever discovered, dioxin and aflatoxin. I initially worked at MIT, where I was assigned a chicken feed puzzle. Millions of chicks a year were dying from an unknown toxic chemical in their feed, and I had the responsibility of isolating and determining the structure of this chemical. After two and a half years, I helped discover dioxin, arguably the most toxic chemical ever found. This chemical has since received widespread attention, especially because it was part of the herbicide 2,4,5-T, or Agent Orange, then being used to defoliate forests in the Vietnam War." T.Colin Campbell

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    None of us laughed at Helen. Maybe because in 1970 we listened more to new ideas, however sentimental or foolish they sound all these years later in the harsh light of the millennium’s end. We wanted to find new answers for old questions, or we just thought there were new answers. And even with all the death that came daily, the death that would come to our gathering in the meadow, life in America felt as if it were being recast, reshaped, even redeemed by some transcendent thing.

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    No one has proved to me that my husband isn’t still alive somewhere in Southeast Asia. So, as far as I’m concerned, if even one man is alive, we own him more than this – than presuming him dead for the sake of tidying paperwork.

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    Then Lucas would try to turn over, and there would be a low moan, and Christopher would get up, and I knew that Lucas was awake in the dark that he carried around with him all the time. 'What can I do?' Christopher would say. 'You weren't there. You can't do anything.' None of us knew how to make it light.

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    Norman Morrison soaked himself in petrol and burned himself on the steps of the Pentagon in protest against the Vietnam war...Would it perhaps have taken greater courage to set fire to the President? A body of men who sleep soundly on a daily programme of sanctioned mass-murder are surely only distrubed by personal danger.

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    Post-Traumatic Stress Injury isn't a disease. It's a wound to the soul that never heals.