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Author's Name: Catherine Cummings

Title: "Civilian confusion"

My husband and I were conflicted about the Vietnam War.  Was the USA just upholding the old French colonial rubber plantation system or was the domino theory a real threat, in that if Vietnam fell to the Chinese communists that Laos, Thailand and other SE Asian countries would follow?

I was very upset that some of my in-laws were "chickenhawks".  They were all for the Vietnam War as long as their sons did not have to go and fight in it.  Universities and colleges were under tremendous pressure not to flunk any students because they might then become eligible for the draft.  This was the start of the idea of not awarding grades but using a "Pass/Fail" system.  My husband and I ended up donating money to a charity that supported orphanages in Vietnam.  I don't recall the name of the organization.  I also recall attending a peace service at Christchurch Cathedral in Indianapolis led by the then Dean, "Papa Lawton".  I recall that the Cathedral was packed with many young people and there were people standing in aisles because all the seats were full.  We sang John Lennon's "All We Are Saying is Give Peace a Chance".  We never took part in any protest marches or any violent acts.  

Personally I think it is sad that LBJ's legacy has become the Vietnam War and the "Great Society" and the Civil Rights legislation he worked so hard to pass have been forgotten.