s 14056 CONGRESSIONAL RECORD- SENATE November 11, 1969
Mr. MANSFIELD. Mr. President, in
this century, over a million and a half
Americans have been killed or wounded
in Wllr. That is a measure of the failure
to establish peace in the international
lite of our times. The numbers are grim.
I mention them only because the peace
we sought with these sacrifices Is not
yet In sight. How remote it remains is
to be seen In the arms rae~ which goes
on without check. How distant it remains
is stark in Vietnam.
We mark this day for those million
and a half lives and more which were
ended or hurt in the Nation's wars of
this century. We mark It, too, for the
tens of· millions who at one time or another
inJ;errupted their personal pursuits
to serve the Nation In the armed
This year, as last, Veterans Day ha.s
special and somber meaning. The war
in Vietnam persists; the fighting and
dying continues. As of this hour, the
casualties of Vietnam surpass 300,000.
At last summation, the dead were more
than 46,000 and the wounded over
Wf' have asked much of the men In
Vietnam. We have asked them to persevere
In a struggle which, on all sides,
it Is now devoutly wished had never
been joined. We have asked them to
stay until an honorable wa:; out of the
conflict can be found. WhatEver we may
do for the men in Vietnam-and we
will, all of us, do everything that can
be done to support them until their
return-will not change that face of
Vietnam is a war unclaimed by this
administration or its predecessors. It is
a war unclaimed by this Congress or the
ones before. Yet, this war belongs to
us all. We cannot evade it--not this administratioh
nor its predecessors. not this
Congress nor its predecessors. We are all
its possessors and we are all possessed by
lt. We are-all of us--the makers of
the veterans of Vietnam. The relentless
clicking which computes the casualties
is our responsibility.
This day, then, is of special significance
not only for veterans, but for us as
well, for all of us, in the administration
and in Congress. However, reluctantly,
we are partners In the continuance of
Vietnam. At this late hour it will serve
no useful purpose to assess blame or
praise, as between the branches or among
ourselves. The responsibility-the joint
responsibility-is to strive to shorten the
path to peace. We owe that to our conscience.
We owe it to the people of the
United States. We owe it to the living
and the dead of Vietnam and to all the
veterans of the Nation.
Mike Mansfield Papers, Series 21, Box 45, Folder 31, Mansfield Library, University of Montana
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