What the President Says/What the First Calvary Sang

1.

And one of the most painful chapters in our history was Vietnam –
Most particularly, how we treated our troops who served there

You were often blamed for a war you didn’t start
When you should have been commended for serving your country with valor

You were sometimes blamed for misdeeds of a few
When the honorable service of the many should have been praised

You came home and sometimes were denigrated
When you should have been celebrated

It was a national shame, a disgrace that should have never happened
And that’s why here today we resolve that it will not happen again

–adapted from President Obama, 2012 Memorial Day address to Vietnam veterans

2.

We shoot the sick, the young, the lame,
We do our best to kill and maim,
Because the kills count all the same,
Napalm sticks to kids.

Ox cart rolling down the road,
Peasants with a heavy load,
They’re all VC when the bombs explode,
Napalm sticks to kids.

–Song composed by the 1st Calvary Division, U.S. Army, Vietnam War
Quoted in Nick Turse, Kill Anything That Moves: The Real American War in Vietnam

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