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Page 11

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The Human Cost of War

By Joseph Giannini

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Recently I got a video called "The Class of 65" from an acquaintance of Les Bennet, a Vietnam buddy of mine. It is about two senior high school classes in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, one public and the other parochial. The tragic thing about these two classes is the number of young men who were killed in the Vietnam War. Edison High lost 66, the highest toll in America. And Father Judge lost a record number. The combined total was over one hundred.

The video shows the lives and speaks about the deaths of these young men who went from high school to Vietnam. They were encouraged by their high school principals and our government to fight Communism in Southeast Asia. They were all working class, proud to serve; they bought the lies and were wasted. Each young man was a priceless treasure and his death brought unending pain and sorrow to his parents, siblings, family and friends. "The Class of 65" is a sorrowful and sobering story about the human cost of war.

I recently contacted LTV, the public access channel in our town, and told their office manager about "The Class of 65." LTV wanted to air the video. I then contacted Fox TV in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, the maker and owner of the video. Their rep said no problem, send the release form for LTV. I faxed the release and waited for Fox to respond. About a week later I received a call from Fox, they would send a broadcast quality tape directly to LTV. Then the next day I got another call from Fox TV, they wouldn't sign the release. They had a rights problem. Wouldn't you think that any and all rights problems would have been resolved before they made the video? Suspect. Could it be that Fox, known to support all our foreign wars, had second thoughts about airing an anti-war video? If my suspicion is correct, this is chilling.

What would the spirits of these young men say if they could speak to us? Fox demeans the memory and message of these lost men. How about sending a message to Fox, a boycott of everything they own?

Joseph Giannini is a former Marine grunt who fought in 'Nam 1967-68 with the 1st Battalion, 3rd Marines.

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