Sunday night, Sept. 17, on PBS, Ken Burns will start his multi-series on the Vietnam War. So far, critics have been most positive regarding his work; in fact, it would be difficult to put any negatives to it. Photography, stills and video played a “historic” role in the making and ending of the war. Photojournalists were in the trenches and died in combat — Bernard Fall, Robert Capa, Larry Burrows, to name a few. The series includes how Indo China, the French colonial colony, became our war and how it reached into Kent State, into Berkley and all of our society, whether we liked it or not.
It is hardcore, it is soul wrenching, it is a hard-viewing documentary, and one can perhaps learn from it or not. My brother and I were involved, more so my brother, who is presently dealing with post issues. The Vietnam war affected a whole generation of Americans from the city to the farm, and photography played a major role in its history.
Raymond A. Bleesz
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