Title: a mother Remember Her Son at "The Wall" Author: Eleanor Wimbish

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Danielle Chatwin

American Civilization

Professor Nakra

April 2, 2009

Title: A Mother Remember Her Son at “The Wall”

Author: Eleanor Wimbish

Date: 1984
The historical circumstances that caused this document to be written was because when Americans came back from WWI and WWII they came back as heroes, but this didn’t happen in the Vietnam War. We originally entered the war to help prevent the spread of communism. After WWII, there was a disagreement between the French and Communist leader Ho Chi Minh. Ho Chi Minh declared Vietnam’s independence and wanted to make Democratic South Vietnam a part of North Communist Vietnam. At this time, Americans were already battling the communist Soviet Union in the Cold War. We were afraid that Communism was spreading and we wanted to prevent it from happening elsewhere.

The media exploded how the solders were fighting. The media gave Americans the impression that we were fighting someone else’s war. The solders who survived were spit upon, called “baby killers”, drug addicts and were disrespected at their homecoming. When the Veterans came home they needed medical care, but the Government did not provide them with the mental and physical care that they needed. As such, many Veterans committed suicide.

After several years, a young business man started a petition that a wall be put up in honor of the fallen solders. It since has given families a place to go and be close to their family member who lost their lives fighting this war.

The main argument in this document was that many people wondered why the nation did not mourn the deceased solders or honored the survivors. Eleanor was still coping with her son’s death after many, many years. She started writing letters, addressed to “The Wall”, to her deceased son. By doing this, she found how much easier she was able to cope with her son’s death. Additionally, she wanted to wake others about the pain still left after so many years. In one specific letter, she wrote about how much she missed him and what she has been doing since he has been gone. This letter drew attention to the media and it started to help other grieving families cope with their deceased sons and daughters who died during the Vietnam War.

Yes, there is a bias in this document. Many families lost their fathers, brothers, sisters, etc in the Vietnam War. When the soldiers came back they were treated horrible. The men and women who died for their country were not mourned and remembered. When Eleanor started writing letters “The Wall” helped other families cop and grieve. It gave them hope to know that they were not the only ones still going through pain. Eleanor was not against the war. However, the impression that I had was that she was proud of her son for what he was doing. She was just disappointed and upset that her son never received any gratitude for his life that was taken to serve his country.

Yes, I did find this document to be persuasive. Her feelings are so deep in this specific letter, she was a strong woman to be able to write letters to her son’s name on “The Wall” and how she was able to find a way to honor the work that her son did. Additionally, it helped other families along the way. What an inspiration!

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