Back in 1968 I was in the 8th Grade living in Aberdeen, Maryland. While the small town near the Aberdeen Proving Ground was served by the Pennsylvania Railroad in 1968, my Mom took my sister and me to New York by bus. I may have been given a model train layout, but here I am on a bus to New York City. Shucks! It was my first time, but far from my last, I visited this great city. While memories are sketchy, I know we were in New York on Labor Day weekend. In that year the Viet Nam War was reaching its height, and resistance to the war was in full swing as well. My Dad was serving in Viet Nam at this time with the United States Army. My Mom was very proud of my Dad and his service. She was an immigrant from Germany and seemed to be especially grateful to live in this wonderful country.
Well, demonstrating is of course a part of what makes this country wonderful. As we walked Fifth Avenue back in that troubled year- Martin Luther King and Robert Kennedy were both assassinated in 1968- protesters were walking down Fifth Avenue chanting “Don’t Let Labor Pay For The War!!” I am not sure how labor was paying for the Viet Nam War. My Mom could not remain silent. From across the street she began shouting in her loud voice at the angry young protestors- my sister and I were a little nervous. A New York Police officer asked my Mom politely to keep it down…he didn’t want “any trouble”. Oh, how I love New York!