The Vietnam Moratorium Day was one of the largest protests in world History. Many nations had interests in the Vietnam War, and this public outcry was the world's way of saying it was enough.
How the Moratorium Got Organized
The Vietnam Moratorium was organized by David Hawk, Sam Brown, David Mixner, Marge Sklenkar and John Gage. The Moratorium was inspired by Jerome Grossman's call for a general strike on April 20, 1969, if the war had not ceased by October. However, the idea of moratorium protests was developed by Sam Brown, who was just 25 years old at the time. Brown had previously worked on the unsuccessful presidential campaign of Eugene McCarthy and pushed to extend protests beyond universities and into the rest of the community.
The Big Day
All over the US, over 15 million Americans took part in the protest, even though the Vietnam Moratorium Day in New York collided with the Baseball 1969 World Series; game four was played that day. At the time, New York's mayor John Lindsay wanted the flag at the Baseball game to be flown halfway but was opposed by the Baseball commissioner.
Despite being a nationwide protest filled with passion, the entire ordeal was peaceful; everyone shared in expressing the sadness caused by the war.
Did The Moratorium Work?
As protestors lined the stress, President Nixon remained silent. In fact, he continued working as per usual that day, saying, "Under no circumstances will I be affected." He also linked policy made in the street with anarchy.
On November 3, Nixon gave his formal response to the protest in his famous "Silent Majority Speech," in which he asked for the support of the silent majority. After his speech was finished, the White House received an inordinate amount of calls supporting the President. In fact, so many people were calling at once that the phone lines jammed.
The Vietnam War ultimately came to an end on April 30, 1975.
What do you suppose that many of us felt who served in Vietnam, while not greatly excited about the war, but nevertheless we’re committed to our country and to other soldiers who were doing their duty faithfully at some considerable risk? When I returned from Vietnam, one was supposed to be ashamed to wear the uniform in public or be mocked. (Was a flight surgeon, caring for our soldiers and making medical trips into the orphanage.)
The war that never should have been.
The war that began due to “alternate facts”.
The war that took so many young lives.
The war that didn’t kill some of them until much later in life.
The war that most of them were given no choice but to go.
The war that forced 18yr old boys to fight and die.
I could go on and on, but I’m beginning to weep for the thousands of boys who gave their lives to this needless war.