Where were you in '68?

By The Editors / November / December 1998
November 22nd, 2007
In a collaboration this fall with Brown's Scholarly Technology Group, high-school students and teachers from South Kingstown, Rhode Island, created "The Whole World Was Watching: An Oral History of 1968," a multimedia Web site dedicated to showing what it was like to live through that tumultuous year. The site features transcripts of interviews between the high-school students and thirty-one local subjects, including Rhode Island Governor Lincoln Almond, Dean of the Faculty Kathryn Spoehr, and President E. Gordon Gee. The following is an excerpt from Gee's remarks about the war in Vietnam: "I was in Germany, working for our church as a Mormon missionary, when I became aware of the war in Vietnam. There was a large influx of American troops in Germany, and I kept getting notice [to report] for my draft on my return. I was absolutely dreading the idea of having to go into the Army and going to Vietnam and fighting. However, since I had a very serious ulcer at that time, probably from worrying about the war, I was never called up.

"I knew a number of people who served, and I knew several people who were killed. It was rather apparent to me that we had no will to win. I was disgusted by those in the far right and the far left. I thought that we had not been honest with ourselves, the American people, or with those who were fighting. My opinion of the war was that because of our inability to have the will or the courage or the tactics to win, that we should have gotten out. We misread our own power and our own will, and we most certainly misread the Vietnamese."

What do you think?
See what other readers are saying about this article and add your voice. 
Related Issue
November / December 1998