Letter: A slur on the Sixties

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The Independent Online
Sir: As an American who added to 'the voice of the Sixties, the voice of Vietnam protest', I would like to protest - yet again - at the crude slur by your correspondent on what he falsely characterises as 'that later generation which turned its back on patriotism and derided martial virtues' ('Day of tears and memories', 7 June).

My patriotism, and that of others who protested Vietnam, is second to none. Indeed, our opposition to the Vietnam war was, above all, motivated by a deep sense of anger and shame that those values so courageously displayed and defended at D-Day had been betrayed by pursuit of an irrational, deeply misguided and destructive policy.

To honour martial values does not require a commitment to, or celebration of, mindless militarism and its terrible consequences, which D-Day turned back in an act of heroism and patriotism the spirit and principles of which my generation deeply honoured, and through our actions was determined to defend.

Sincerely yours,

RICHARD BEACHAM

Leamington Spa

Warwickshire

7 June

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