COMMENTARY: Good Friday and victimization

by Mar 22, 2024OPINIONS0 comments

By Lew H. Harding


There is a real irony for Christians and veterans that Vietnam Veterans’ Day falls on Good Friday, March 29. This is a day sacred to Christians. It is also a day set aside by bureaucrats to memorialize the 58,267 men and women who made the ultimate sacrifice in Vietnam and those of us that survived. We were victimized by false promises and poor leadership.

The monumental ineptitude and career focused short-sightedness of the Johnson, McNamara, Rusk, Wolfowitz, and Westmore-land decision makers is now exposed for history to judge. They showed us all that they were perfectly willing to sacrifice our warriors to try to cover up their deceit.

President Johnson finally quit. McNamara and Rusk wrote books admitting their errors of judgment. General Westmoreland, our leader while we were over there, was haunted until the end for the part that he shared in misleading the war effort.

I flew many alpha strikes over Hanoi. We passed over the port of Haiphong on each mission. Greek billionaire Aristotle Onasis had ships unloading war supplies for the North Vietnamese there. Our squadron had air drop mining capabilities. Not once did we get the chance or the orders to close the port. It would have shortened the war and saved many American lives. A seventh grader could have figured that out. I lost a lot of squadron mates, and it is painful to this day to realize that it didn’t have to be. We as veterans have a duty to speak out.

Embrace the meaning of Good Friday’s significance of March 29; of the son of the mighty Creator of the universe as He rode a donkey toward His destiny of sacrifice for us all. Live the reality of “love ye one another.” Speak out against elitism, cultism, hypocrisy, racism, bigotry, and hate. Help those that have need in our community. If you can’t or don’t know how, open the One Feather, and select one of our faith-based congregations that show love to each other and to those who have need. There are two pages of them. If that doesn’t appeal to you, call our American Legion Post, and ask to speak to one of our chaplains.

Remember to vote on Nov. 5. Vote against the dissolution of our democracy. The history of our tribe is replete with instances of treachery and heroism. We as a people have an opportunity in November to send the would-be authoritarians, the corruptors of our freedoms and their representatives back to their scheming. Honor the veterans of Vietnam and all wars. Send our corrupt former convicted leader who has called our fallen brothers and sisters “suckers and losers” away from us all.

On this Good Friday, believe in yourself and in your own God given powers of discernment. Believe in your veteran brothers and sisters whose victimization is being healed by the example of the Galilean riding the lonely donkey toward his destiny.