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Seven presidents were involved with decisions that impacted America’s presence in Vietnam: Truman, Roosevelt, Eisenhower, Kennedy, Johnson, Nixon and Ford. Harry Truman initially supported France’s dispute with communist leader Ho Chi Min in the early 1950’s. During the Eisenhower and Kennedy terms America’s presence increased, politically, economically and militarily.The OSS, now the CIA, was also deeply involved with covert intelligence operations as early as 1944, not only in Vietnam but in neighbouring countries.
Today it is once again Remembrance Day, November 11th, 11:00am. For two short minutes we will be asked to put down our tools and pay a silent homage to those who fought for our freedoms. Most of us do not remember the sacrifices our fathers and their father made and how brave they must have been. I know my father joined at the age of 17 and spent 2 years as a tail gunner on a RAF Lancaster. I also know that all but one of my uncles served in various services and that 2 remained in Europe forever. My grandfathers both served in the 1st World War and my mother’s father lost 2 of his brothers at Vimy Ridge. My own father served for 25 years in the Canadian Air Force and for 4 long years worked as a bomb disposal expert on the Maginot Line. In many ways he never came back from the war.