Based on the feedback we’ve received to last week’s blog, it seems that there are some strong opinions out there about the Peace sign and its role on our web site. Some of the feedback has raised some interesting issues around the topic that I think are worth discussing in greater detail. So I am going to address some of those issues in some follow-up blogs in the coming weeks, beginning today.
First and foremost, I think that it’s important to point out what I probably should have included in the first blog on this topic, and that is that it is not, nor has it ever been our intention to try to change how Vietnam Veterans feel about their experience including how they feel about the Peace sign and what it represents to them. Their experience is their own, and we have no judgments about that. Our message, and our web site, is targeted primarily at civilians and encouraging them to express their gratitude to those who serve in their own way. The Gratitude Sign is just one way of expressing gratitude. There are many others.
With respect to the Peace sign and its role on our web site, I’ll keep this first follow-up relatively short and say simply this:
On U2’s 1988 album Rattle and Hum, Bono introduces the song Helter Skelter by saying, “This is a song that Charles Manson stole from the Beatles. We’re stealing it back.” What I hear in that is, “We’re not going to let Charles Manson twist the meaning of this song, or ruin this song and what it means to us. We’re going to embrace it, and focus our attention on the positive aspects of the message in the song, and make it ours.”
In the late 60’s and early 70’s anti-war protestors (not to be confused with Peace activists) stole the Peace sign, and twisted its meaning for many Vietnam Veterans. We’re stealing it back.