The Vietnam War seemed to call everything into question—the value of honor and gallantry; the qualities of cruelty and mercy; the candor of the American government; and what it means to be a patriot. And those who lived through it have never been able to erase its memory, have never stopped arguing about what really happened, why everything went so badly wrong, who was to blame—and whether it was all worth it.
1) What were our goals in Vietnam in the first place? Why did we get involved?
2) Why is the Vietnam War still so divisive to many Americans today?
3) What is patriotism? How can a person be patriotic to their country and still hold the government accountable for its actions?
4) What motivated American men and women to serve in the Vietnam War? What would you have done during the Vietnam War? Would you have supported or opposed it? Why?
5) How does America apply the lessons that it learned in the Vietnam War to challenges facing us today?