Transcript: Vietnam War Massacre Exhibit Hosted at ASU

Mac MacDevitt: 

The overall intention of the exhibit is for people to listen, for people come to the exhibit to get a sense of what it's like for people in countries where we go to war, because we have the privilege of going to war in other people's countries.

And my hope is that people will really get a sense that these people are not that different than us and we'll get a sense of the pain and the suffering we caused, not just the pain and suffering for us, our economy maybe or our soldiers or whatever, but what it is like for the people on the other side of our guns. 

And we really look at the total cost of not just to our guys and our people, but to the people who're just trying to live these, live their lives in these other countries. And I think we as Americans have kind of a blind spot for that because they're different than us, they speak these funny languages, they dress funny, they're different.

We don't make much too much effort to understand what their lives are. So the idea of this is to really come out feeling like, "What can I do? What can I do to help bring peace?"

First of all, the Vietnam War provoked incredible activism in the United States. And people would say it's split the country because it was just so controversial.

Was it moral? Was it right? Were we being lied to? Even got to the part where the army couldn't function anymore because there's so much resistance within the ranks. This is the second college campus the exhibit has been, we were at UIC School of Public Health -- that's University of Illinois, Chicago -- about a month ago. 

But I think it's really important for young people to kind of get this history and realize that there is a real danger in militarized and the militarization of this country and how military systems work. We're starting to see the police being more militarized where people are following orders. What they're doing as they're told. And they're not asking that question about is this right? Is it moral? Should I really be doing it?

And I think that the Vietnam era was an incredible time to be a young person in the United States.

I can attest to that. There's a lot of questioning in the government, a lot of protests, a lot of real hard work to try and stop the war, and I think that can be inspiring to your generation. You've got to do it your own way. But I think to know that there's these old codgers out there that really continued Veterans for Peace continue to be activists based on their experiences, usually in Vietnam.


Music: "Dusk" by DivKid


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