Vietnam

If you were young and poor in the late 60s, you were probably going to war. Vietnam drafted hundreds of thousands of men into its ranks over the course of its 10 years, and many were Mexican-American. 

This week we mark the 40th anniversary of the end of the Vietnam War. On our screens and in our memory's eye we can see the helicopters lifting the last, desperate evacuees from the roof of the U.S. Embassy in Saigon.

On a perfect spring morning, Jan Scruggs walks along the site overlooking the wall of the Vietnam Veterans' Memorial in Washington, D.C. Contrasting the bright colors of blooming trees and flowers is the black granite carved with the names of more than 58,000 Americans who served during the war.

Scruggs, a veteran himself, is credited with getting the memorial built. He's now preparing to retire. Morning Edition met Scruggs to learn the story of how the memorial was built, honoring the dead from a war that ended 40 years ago, on April 30, 1975.

For me, 45 years ago today — Oct. 15, 1969 — was one of those rare days, a day you remember all your life. It was Game 4 of the World Series. Mets vs. Orioles. My Mets were up two games to one. And I was at Shea Stadium.

Pages