Last evening was the first of four Cleveland Browns exhibition games prior to the start of the regular season, which begins in Cleveland when the Browns take on the Pittsburgh Stillers September 10th.
Today marks the the 50th anniversary of the four-hour massacre at My Lai in Quang Ngai Province South Vietnam in which about 115 U.S. Army soldiers in the Americal Division killed 173 children, 56 of them being infants, 182 women, with 17 of them being pregnant. Also slain were 60 older gentlemen.
In last spring’s edition of The Veteran, a publication produced by Vietnam Veterans Against the War, Mike Hastie, who was an army medic in Vietnam’s Central Highlands (1970-71) and the son of a career army officer and World War II combat veteran in North Africa, wrote, “our taxes paid for the massacre and our ignorance about the war wrote the check.” (Hastie is a member of Chapter 72 of Veterans for Peace, based at a Portland, Oregon church.)
On Sunday, September 10th, I stood outside FirstEnergy Stadium, home of the Cleveland Browns, to greet Steelers and Browns fans eager to attend the first game of the regular season. I was impressed with so many people reaching to shake my hand and thank me for my service, as I wore my vintage army dress uniform and held a peace flag. I said to one man, “You would think I was running for office” and he said, “Maybe you should.”
As I have done in recent years, I decided to promote peace about a hundred yards from the southwestern gate of FirstEnergy Stadium yesterday greeting fans of the visiting New Orleans Saints as well as Browns fans. Of course I was in uniform and carrying my peace flag.