JWG (jwg) wrote,

The Wall that Heals

I went to see the replica of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial wall - it is currently in Gloucester.

In addition to the names of the >58,000 people who died in this awful situation, they had a time-line of events - brought back lot of memories. Just staring at the list of names brought tears to my eyes.

I could have been there. In 1961 I had a draft deferment because I was a Physics PhD student but was considering dropping out and would have lost my deferment. (Fortunately my father suggested; take a computer programming course - I did, was fascinated by it and got a job as a computer programmer in 1962 that got me a critical industry draft deferment.)

In 1967 when working for GE on the Multics project, one of my office mates was Van Binh Nguyen. He had moved to France from Vietnam and was sent to work on the project because Bull, the French computer company that I eventually worked for, was a participant. I remember his saying that when he went to school, Ho Chi Minh was a student in that school!

PS, this icon is me in my ROTC uniform at MIT.
Tags: multics, nostalgia, personal, politics

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