A few days after Johnny’s funeral, I marched with about 5,000 other protesters down Summit Avenue from Macalester College to the St. Paul capitol. There were a lot of speakers that day on the capitol steps and they were all very angry.
President Johnson had just announced a new troop deployment to Viet Nam.
He had earlier ‘leaked’ to the media of a withdrawal of troops, something he often did to appease the war protesters…but the ‘withdrawal’ was just another wretched lie that would send more heart broken families and friends to grave sites over the next days, weeks, months and even years.
As frustration with the war increased, protesters were becoming more militant. But they were passionately against the war…and that was all that mattered to me.
I was hurting and I needed to do something.
I needed to do more to help end this horror…to stop more young men from coming home in black body bags.
Johnny was gone…he would never hold me in his arms again…never! I could not get past my sadness…I missed him so much.
I wanted everyone to know the anguish and pain that this stupid war was bringing to thousands of people like me.
I wanted everyone to know and to care and to do something…
I wanted the pain to go away…
I wanted Johnny back.