I’d chain all of the politicians to that haunting Vietnam memorial
and have them read—slowly—every name aloud.
Then the war would end for me.
Take all of them, all of them who gave us the war —
all of them who, like McNamara, began to doubt that the war could be won
and still kept it going.
Chain them to the memorial for several days,
if need be, and have them read each name aloud.
Wouldn’t that be something? Justice at last.”
—Adapted from Gloria Emerson, author of Winners and Losers: Battles, Retreats, Gains, Losses, and Ruins from the Vietnam War
Quoted in Paul Hendrickson’s The Living and the Dead: Robert McNamara and Five Lives of a Lost War
–novel-in-progress, Our Heroic and Ceaseless 24/7 Struggle against Tsuris