Freedom Rock Countdown
Wed, 06/06/2018 - 2:13pm admin
—7th Gun Salute . . . Vietnam War
CRESCO - Meet Ed Fontes and Loren Lienhard. Both are veterans of the United States Army and members of the Freedom Rock Committee.
This week’s gun salute is to the Vietnam War, as it is known around the world, but is known as the ‘American War’ in Vietnam.
The Vietnam War is the longest war in U.S. history (19 1/2 years), it cost over $100 billion, and nearly two-thirds of Americans serving the war were volunteers.
The Vietnam War has roots in Vietnam’s centuries of domination by imperial and colonial powers—first China, which ruled ancient Vietnam, and then France, which took control of Vietnam in the late 1800s and established French Indochina. Ho Chi Minh took control from Japan at the end of WWII and the Geneva Accords of 1954 declared a cease-fire and divided Vietnam into North (communist) and South (French-backed). U.S. policy at the time was dominated by the domino theory, which believed that the “fall” of North Vietnam to Communism might trigger all of Southeast Asia to fall, setting off a sort of Communist chain reaction.
Fontes will tell you that during our period of involvement in the Vietnam War, the United States was served by four different presidents. They were Dwight D. Eisenhower (1953-1961), John F. Kennedy (1961-1963), Lyndon B. Johnson (1963-1969) and Richard Nixon (1969-1974).
Lienhard wants you to know that Super Glue and Duct Tape were important supplies in the Vietnam War. Super Glue was used to slow bleeding until soldiers could get to the hospital. Duct Tape was used to repair helicopter blades.
Fontes and Lienhard, both fans of the Johnny Carson Show, might ask you “What do Slinkys, the Ace of Spades and levitating the Pentagon” have in common?” Carnac the Magnificent would answer ‘The Vietnam War.’
• Slinkys were used in the war as mobile radio antennas. They would sling the Slinky over branches and extend the range of their radios.
• There was a false belief during the war that the Vietnamese had a superstition with the Ace of Spades card, considering it to be a symbol of death, and they would flee at the sight of the Ace. The U.S. Playing Card Company shipped crates of this card to Vietnam, where they were scattered during raids.
• And finally…in 1967, protesters in the United States requested a permit to levitate the Pentagon 300 feet in the air and through songs and chants, wanted to exorcise it of its evil and end the Vietnam War. Authorities agreed to only three feet. (We are not making this up folks).
Ed Fontes and Loren Lienhard invite you to learn more about the Vietnam War at the dedication of the Howard County Memorial Park featuring the Freedom Rock on June 23, 2018.
[This weekly countdown will feature members of the Freedom Rock Committee and information about military history. The Howard County Memorial Park, with the Freedom Rock as a focal point, is located at the crossroads of Hwy. 9 and 3rd St. West in Cresco.]