How a Journalist and Returning Servicemen saw the Same Parade
March 31, 1973 was the day that the Vietnam War was over
for the United States - and all our troops were coming home.
In New York City , "Home With Honor Day" was decreed by
the outspoken anti-war Mayor John Lindsay. A thousand returning servicemen marched through Times Square and up Broadway - then sat in grandstands while more than 150,000 Americans marched thetwo mile parade route to honor and thank them for their service.
While most of our news media completely ignored this joyful event, the UPI circulated a short article. But, we could only find two newspapers that carried it.
Here's how the UPI and the Connecticut Sunday Herald
reported the story of a grateful people welcoming their sons.
Headline: " 'HOME WITH HONOR' PARADE HAS
LIGHT ATTENDANCE IN NY"
Lead: " New York (UPI). Light and scattered crowds
turned out Saturday for the nation's first and
possibly only big Vietnam war parade,
a 'Home With Honor Day' march up Broadway. ....
"The turnout of spectators was never heavier than
two or three deep at the curb except for a
concentration around the reviewing stand at
63rd Street ... "
YOU judge the reporter's accuracy. See Times Square
- a mile from the reviewing stand !
The first two-thirds of the article covered some basic information -
parade routing, the weather, etc. - and the above,
No mention that 150,000+ marched the two-mile route to salute
the returning warriors. Or, the dozens of bands in the parade.
No mention that, after the parade, the GIs were guests at a $100 a plate dinner, including top entertainers.
No comments from the 1,000 servicemen who were honored or by anyone who took part in the activities.
But over one-third of the story quoted the signs, chants, and statements
of thirty (30) men, claiming to be Vietnam veterans, who demonstrated
against the event.
Compare the negative picture projected by the UPI with the
inspiring story in the Fort Dix newspaper .
Included are a number of comments by GI's, reflecting the feelings of the thousand returning Vietnam veterans.
Among them: "There were good vibrations .... spontaneous displays of
warmth and appreciation everywhere."
"The people of New York showed that they loved us."
"Outstanding. I was surprised and overwhelmed ....
I remember how I felt overseas when I heard about all the
demonstrations .... Everything seemed to be negative, but you come
back to something like this .... it's tremendous."
See our NEWS MEDIA HONOR ROLL