Charles Doyle cdoyle at UGA.EDU
Mon May 24 13:29:31 UTC 2010

Not to quibble (who among us would do THAT?), but reports of youthful protesters' spitting on soldiers who were returning from the battlefields of Vietnam probably shouldn't be called "urban legends"--since a LEGEND would be a narrative, and the reports contain little or no actual narrative. But there certainly is a prevalent folk belief here.

The "radical" leftish groups with which I liked to identify in those days generally espoused sympathy with the returning soldiers--who were themselves victims of the "machine" (or whatever).

It tends to be forgotten that the most effective opposition to the generous treatmant of Vietnam War participants (for example, making available high-quality medical care and educational benifits) came from so-called "veterans" groups--the American Legion and the VFW. Members of the vaunted Greatest Generation seemed loath to regard participants in such late, minor, and failed skirmishes as true veterans.


The American Dialect Society -

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