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Page 29
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<< 28. 4th of July Requiem (poem)30. JFK and the Unspeakable: Why He Died and Why It Matters >>

1971 Peace Demonstration

By Otmar Fischbach

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It is April, 1971. There is a peace rally gathering at the great mall in Washington DC. I was there (somewhere in the crowd on the left side of the photo below). The rally was sponsored by Vietnam Veterans Against the War. Navy veteran John Kerry was there and would address Congress, calling for an end to the Vietnam War. Later that day, small white milk truck type vans came around, and with a bullhorn announced that Richard Nixon had made a speech to the nation saying he did not believe even a third of the people gathered at the mall were actually military veterans. So these guys on the truck wanted the names and military serial numbers of any veterans there. Write your name on a piece of paper and they would present those names to Richard Nixon. People were running up to the vans to give them a piece of paper. I was one of the many that handed over my name to the people in those vans. Much later I realized, I never heard another word about Nixon having read the names, or accepting the fact that there were veterans calling for an end to the war, nothing was ever said, and I never heard anything more about it until .. until years later when the Watergate investigation revealed that Nixon had an enemies list. It was explained that Nixon had two such lists, one was of celebrities and well known personages that expressed opposition to the war, like Jane Fonda, Abbie Hoffman, Joan Baez, etc. The other list was of regular citizens that were not so well known. Nixon had more than 50 thousand names on that second list. When I heard that I asked myself, "where the hell did Nixon get 50 thousand names from" .. and then I thought back to that day in DC, when those vans with bullhorns pulled up and wanted ........ and I realized that Tricky Dick had struck again.

Otmar Fischbach was at Udorn AFV, Thailand; and served with the Jolly Green Giants, who were Air Rescue and Recovery, picking up downed pilots, most often in country, and in North Vietnam. He was also TDY in Nakkon Phanom, Thailand for two months.

Washington DC, April 24, 1971, the day after VVAW's Operation Dewey Canyon III.

Representative Bella Abzug speaking to VVAW at Operation Dewey Canyon III, April 19, 1971.

<< 28. 4th of July Requiem (poem)30. JFK and the Unspeakable: Why He Died and Why It Matters >>