The Vietnam War was one of the most tragic wars in American history. The affects it had on the American people were tremendous. Even today many Americans have the frightening, unforgettable memories of the war. The war was accounted to be over in 1973, but Americans still suffer the aftershocks of a national trauma that has left the nation bitterly divided and estranged from its ideals. The painful memories will be eased, but they will never be fully healed. Many Americans look at the Vietnam War as the most hated conflict in United States history. It was also the first war America has not won. Many Americans started to lose faith in their country. Many refugees came to America in hopes to start a much better life here, but were disliked by many because they made it more difficult for the many unemployed citizens of America.
Many families in America felt much sorrow as they learn of resent events in Vietnam, like the battle of Laos, and the loss of there loved ones. Many veterans returned from Vietnam and received a cold welcome from millions of Americans that felt a deep hatred for the war and the way the fighting ended.
The only warm greetings came from family and friends of the veterans. One veteran spoke for many when he said, "I went to Vietnam thinking I was a good American who was doing my duty for my country. I come back and ended up feeling like a criminal." It alienated many returning veterans from their fellow citizens and made them wonder if they would ever again fit into the mainstream of their nation's life. They also wondered if they would ever win a place for themselves in the United States. One reason for these feelings toward the veteran is that the veterans did not return at the end of the war, but throughout the course of the war after serving a tour of duty. They did not return with their units, but instead returned alone or in a small group of men. There was no way for the government or the Americans who supported the United States role in the war to welcome the returning veterans in an organized way. When the men did return in larger numbers the country was exhausted from the years of living with the anger, shame, and guilt that the conflict had triggered. Hardly anyone seemed in the mood for a hero's welcome. The veterans came home to a cold, silent, and angry reception.
Some felt a deeper sense of alienation from their country because they know of their dismal image. The veterans' image worsened with the joined problems they suffered after the cold welcome home. Some of the problems were that there was a drug and alcohol abuse and psychological illness. No one gave recognition to the veterans for their services and sacrifices. The national attitude changed over the years and the veterans gained increasing recognition. The Vietnam Veterans Memorial was later built in honor of the Vietnam Veterans. Today,...