Friday, December 08, 2023

The more things change …

| November 21, 2023 1:00 AM

The more things change, the more they remain the same.

A young man was hitchhiking east of Reno, Nev., in May 1971 on his way to Washington, D.C.

I was a naval aviator and flight instructor, driving to the naval air station in Fallon, Nev., for two weeks of weapons training for pilots headed to Vietnam. I stopped to give the man a ride.

He said he was a college student from California going to Washington, D.C., for the major anti-Vietnam war gathering. I asked him why he was so interested in the gathering. He said it seemed like a lot of fun, and besides, so many people were going. I said I assumed he was against the war, and I was curious as to why. He indicated that he didn't have specifics but just thought it was wrong. He wasn't exactly sure where Vietnam was located.

He then asked where I was going, and I told him. I think he almost had a heart attack until he realized I was not angry or about to kick him out of the car.

He was an intelligent man and proceeded to ask me many questions about my profession and the war. He knew nothing about Vietnam or the war; he only knew most of his contemporaries were against it, and he thought he should be, too.

Perhaps seeing today's protesters reminds him of his beliefs held in the vacuum of ignorance so long ago.

"If you want to be wrong, then follow the masses." (Socrates)

“Nothing in the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity.” (Martin Luther King Jr.)



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