I am the Vietnam Generation:
Generation of Witness:
1. Prelude:
Rage! Sing the rage for the innocents. Rage! Sing the rage and call for atonement. As rage dissolves to contrition and leads us home to love. The Dharma is not war, it is the journey home to love. Dharmapada, the path to true Dharma, to give to surrender to love
2. Shroud of War: Invocation
I do not want to be called a Baby Boomer. I am the Vietnam generation. I am the generation of witness and fire. I was a hospital corpsman during Vietnam and though I was far from combat, the war haunts me and my generation. This war of decades ago, and unending wars of the American war machine, shrouds my waking hours.
3. Vietnam: Fire. Redemption. Love.

I am the Vietnam Generation.

I hold the memory of two million
Vietnamese children, men, and women
killed during the War of Liberation.

I hold the memory
of 58,229 dead Americans
and 55,000 French soldiers killed.
Not killed for patriotism.
Not killed to save a nation.
Killed for the Military-Industrial insanity.

I hold the memory of the
millions of wounded soldiers and children
maimed with bombs and Agent Orange.

How have we paid recompense for the
400,000 Vietnamese killed by Agent Orange?

How have we remediated the
the land destroyed by bombs
and Agent Orange?

How many generations
will it take to heal this land?

Is there a salve that can
soothe the scars of napalm bombs?
Is there a salve that will heal the
skin of those burned with phosphorous?

How do we Americans
care for the thousands of deformed
children born today?

When will there be contrition?
How have we atoned for our deeds?

How will we atone for
My Lai and the unknown massacres?

How will we care for the people and land
destroyed by the sin and evil of war?

While the chairman of Dow Chemical
Carl A. Gerstacker
played golf on immaculate green lawns;

While Dow chemical’s napalm
incinerated Vietnam
and burned people alive:

While Monsanto gained fortunes for
its stockholders with the poison Agent Orange:

While the war profiteers made their
poisons and guns to destroy Vietnam,
and proclaimed the greatness of the USA.

While Nixon scuttled a peace deal in 1968
so he could get elected.
While McNamara formulated the calculus of war.
Johnson, Kennedy, Kissinger, and all stoked the machine
of death. They were the architects of monumental hubris.

While those safe in draft deferments,
protested the war:
While the poor and working-class soldiers
were sucked into the vortex of conscription.

I want to hold the hundreds of thousands
of wounded and homeless veterans.
Now huddled in the streets.

I don’t want us known as
The Woodstock generation
with its ephemera of peace and love.
I want us to hold in our bones
the imperative of peace and contrition.

Vietnam Generation May2020 – Namaya 6
Do we have the courage to bend
down on our knees in
supplication?

4. Noble Saints of Peace
And to you, the noble saints of peace, who came to Vietnam and cared for the children. To the warriors of the higher conscience, who refused to march off to war. To the soldiers who returned and now are working for justice in Vietnam. To those who chose prison over war. To those who fled family and home to protest. The courageous monks, driven mad with pain, burned themselves alive to stop war. The students at Kent State shot dead by soldiers while they protested against war. Your acts of resistance and love shines with fearless courage.
5. Witness: Cambodia
I journeyed to Cambodia, where the genocide and killing fields were fostered by the American war machine. Twenty-five percent of Cambodians killed. The soul of a nation shredded by genocide. Children born after the Americans went safely home Vietnam Generation May2020 – Namaya 8 are still maimed and killed by landmines. Children in wheel-chairs begging. Eyes famished for hope and asked us, “Please, help.” Where is our contrition? How is their forgiveness? Where is our mercy and justice? The killing fields and landmines are underfoot as I walk through the Mekong. Laos, Cambodia, and Vietnam are littered with landmines and Agent Orange. Landmines dropped by B-52s in a rain of evil, blacker than evil itself. Where is the shame that should burn in our soul? Where is the repentance? Where is our courage to end all war?
6. Laos
Beautiful innocent Laos. Nestled in the mountains, ancient Buddhist land, now infested with landmines that destroy and maim children decades after the war. Today, I walk through the fields. Our guides point us to the right path, but there are no signs, no guideposts to the landmines strewn by the Americans. The US Military indiscriminately bombed and poisoned Vietnam, Laos, and Cambodia. Today, I met the children at the hospital, their legs blown off by landmines, and cluster bombs dropped fifty years ago. How are we humbled and shamed by our deeds? When will we bend to our knees to ask forgiveness?
7. The US Military-Industrial Machine
We, the Vietnam generation, have we grown complacent waddling to retirement and investing in the war machine? Panama, Grenada, Iraq, Yemen, Afghanistan, Pakistan, and the necklace of our war machine is made from the skulls of children. We have raped, ravaged and looted countries around the globe. Our trillion dollar platinum plated war machine is lacquered with the blood and bones of its victims. When will we fight the real war? The war against poverty? Our war to save the environment? When we will end the desire for war? We, the Woodstock generation, born in the shadows and fire of war. We saw the nightly news with the daily tallies of death, while our brothers and kin we’re sent over for a war of lies. What of the greater love? Contrition? Humility? Atonement? I don’t want to be called the baby boomer or Woodstock generation. I am the Vietnam generation. I am the generation of witness. Dwight Eisenhower said, we are crucified on a cross of iron. He warned of the Military-Industrial machine: Yet, he fostered the war in Vietnam.
8. Tune in!
Tune in! Turn on! Drop out! My soul is no longer on ice. I burn with the shame Of our wars! I burn with the shame Of our deeds. Our shame should burn as bright as the phosphorous bombs that we dropped in Vietnam I burn with rage! I burn with this shame! I don’t want to be remembered for the delusions of pot and drugs, turn on, tune in, drop out, the fog of forgetting. I need us to be the generation of remembering. The generation of witness and contrition. We were born in the fire of Nagasaki and Hiroshima, in the ashes of the Korean War and the inextricable nightmare of Vietnam.
9. Dharmapada– the path to contrition
Can we be the generation of redemption and contrition? Can we be the generation of peace? I don’t want to be called a baby boomer. I am the Vietnam generation. I am of the generation of Witness. How will our actions of true peace, forgiveness, and justice. Render healing? How will we be the generation of contrition?