I have just published a book that honors the memory of men who died in Vietnam in the service of our country on the Fourth of July. The book tells the stories of about 50 of the 167 men who died in Vietnam on Independence Day. Some were career soldiers, some were gung-ho volunteers, some were reluctant draftees who answered the call and did their duty. All are heroes. Talking with the families, friends, and Vietnam comrades of these men was both uplifting and humbling. The book is available in paperback at https://www.createspace.com/4650990, and as an e-book at http://www.amazon.com/Died-Fourth-July-Remembering-Americas-ebook/dp/B00...
This is a book about sacrifice, love and remembrance -- the sacrifice of Americans who died in Vietnam on the Fourth of July, the love of their friends and family, and the remembrances that honor these heroes after all these years. As our Nation marks the 50th anniversary of the Vietnam conflict, it's fitting to look beyond the debate over that controversial war and honor the men who bravely did what their country asked of them. The stories told here are as much about the fabric of 1960s America as they are about the men who served and died. Every year on the Fourth of July, while most Americans are grilling hotdogs, watching baseball and enjoying fireworks, relatives and friends of 167 American heroes pause to remember a loved one who died serving our country in Vietnam on our Nation's birthday.
In Norfolk, Virginia, an elderly woman decorates her son's grave then goes to a veterans' hospital to take cookies to the patients.
ESPN commentator Chris Mortensen remembers the haunting scream he heard the day in 1968 when the woman across the street learned her only son had been killed.
Former San Antonio Mayor and HUD Secretary Henry Cisneros reflects on the sacrifice of a college classmate.
A Michigan family attends Mass in memory of a young man who studied for the priesthood but died a Marine.
A Marine veteran on Long Island lights a candle in memory of his fallen comrades from Kilo Company, 3rd Battalion, 9th Marines.
In Long Beach, California, a former member of Congress who served as a Marine Corps officer in Vietnam pauses to reflect on a young soldier who "gave a gift to our Nation."
A woman in Kentucky thinks about the brother she never knew and wonders about what might have been.
A retired surgeon fondly remembers a vibrant young man whose life he vainly struggled to save on an operating table in Vietnam.
A man in Florida remembers a high school friend from Connecticut who never got to come home to "marry that girl and have a life."
A woman in Wyoming and her daughter send a sky lantern heavenward in memory of the father and grandfather they never knew.