The author writes:
Sixty years ago, I received an urgent call from a university dean. We were only thirty-five years old when our nation began its second long war in Vietnam, our latest. We responded to the dean’s call, then returned to the stove to find that the oven was on. The dean’s urgent questions fell on deaf ears, and with exhaustion that haunts us today. So, we traveled two months to Washington, D.C., and spent a week sleeping in a van on Capitol Hill. We arrived late on the night of the inauguration.
We soon began to meet. We learned more about one another. And we learned something about ourselves. Why? Because we turned out to be the real deal.
The good war that we had fought and seen fought and helped at least a few of us back into productive lives. We grew old together. But there was no recovery after Vietnam.
Sixty years later, we can no longer agree whether the Vietnam War was the right thing to do for our country or not. Yet, it will be ages before we finally agree that the “good war” they had fought and seen fought and helped back into productive lives in the U.S. was good at all.
But nothing except moral relativism is now on the table.
We fought a good war and not a good war.