Dear Students – My name is Geoff.

The questions is will it make a difference or are you pissing in the wind? Don’t believe the naysayers. They are scared of you. I come from a time when college and high school student were able to steer our national policy and even drive a president (Johnson, not Nixon) from office.

Moratorium Against the War in Vietnam – October 15, 1969

Dear Students –

My name is Geoff. It’s OK for you to look at me as old. I am.

You’ve gotten a lot of attention for yourselves recently as demonstrated by the amazing pushback by the students at Marjory Stoneman Douglas in Parkland, FL. Make no mistake, it’s a movement.

The questions is will it make a difference or are you just pissing into the wind? Don’t believe the naysayers. They are scared of you.

I come from a time when college and high school student were able to steer our national policy and even drive a president (Johnson, not Nixon) from office. The issue was Vietnam and it divided America as we are divided today. I shudder to think what 1968 would have been like with the Internet.

On one side were people who questioned the war and what we were doing there. On the other side were people who wished to follow the course. I thought they were misguided They thought they were patriots. Looking back there are similarities with Second Amendment defenders today.

The pictures at the top of this entry are from “The Moratorium” in 1969 — I was there. I marched on Washington. I protested on The Commons in Boston. And the country began to listen. Support for the Vietnam War turned.

Back then the voting age was 21 (and the drinking age 18 — you got screwed on this trade). We had much less power. Today nearly every college student and many high school can and should vote.

My generation has felt special for the last fifty years because collectively we did something good. It was probably the first time in American history that ‘kids’ became a political force. We had a positive impact. Now it’s your turn.

Go with your conscience, but please understand we made a difference before and you should now.

Because this post has spawned some heated comments I am imposing limits. One comment per person (except I will allow Judy to support her statement). All comments must be directed to me about what I wrote, not another commenter’s thoughts. I welcome comments on all sides, but keep it civil.

26 thoughts on “Dear Students – My name is Geoff.”

  1. As a Vietnam War Vet attending college after honorable discharge on GI Bill, I was torn between anti-Vietnam and non-Anti-Vietnam protests. In fact, I was going to participate in anti-Vietnam War protest in Danbury, CT with black arm band on me, but went into basement of a college building meditating about it and declined to participate. I’ve always been a fighter as teacher/administrator during my forty years in schools and now will publicly join forces to DEMAND changes in our public schools – better security and better education for all students NOT just a select few. Yes, if shooter didn’t have guns, he could not have committed the killings he did – he was on radar screen and ignored by all federal, state and local agencies – passing the buck – ended in lose of lives. We The People MUST stand hand in hand against our government that preys upon its people to IGNORE helping one another – PERIOD! I trust our current administration will take necessary steps to address this deadly script in America.

  2. Very well put, Geoffrey. The mass killing in our schools, churches, movie theaters, night clubs, workplaces, etc. has to stop. Just as the killing in Vietnam had to stop. We the people, young and older, can make a difference.

  3. Bravo. The elected representatives need to remember – these are the voters of the future. Not distant future, but in the next year or so for some of them. They should listen, or they may have to figure out what to do once they’re voted out of office.

    1. Money Talks Nobody Walks = FOX BUSINESS reported today that 51% of Americans support Trump’s economic initiatives etc. – HARD SELL 2 rid stockpile of AK15 – other than LIMIT its access by insane people with updated proper background checks.

  4. You tell them Geoff! These kids have the guts of the student o 1968!
    They are telling the big shots of ow to my attention because they want this fixed!

  5. I believe these kids will turn the tide on the NRA sponsored murders in America just as the kids did back in the sixties with Vietnam. And furthermore, they deserve our wholehearted support.

  6. This is great. I so back and admire these young people for stepping up, raising their voices and insisting on being heard and doing what the adults won’t or have not tried to do. It is our job as adults to protect these kids. We have failed. Kudos to these teens!! They have seen snd duffered so much. It is past time to do something. Doing nothing is not an option!!!

  7. I think President Trump And his band of merry men have met their match in these kids Geoff just like we did in our day and I’m going to love every minute of it because we can’t keep seeing this happen.

  8. The ‘60s were a great time to be young & alive…even so wild & crazy sometimes ! We felt as if we could do anything & were so involved. Geoff, you are right, we changed the future & made policy changes happen.
    I’ve felt for sometime that, since then, kids haven’t felt that powerful or perhaps even the need to be so engaged. Now is their chance & I’m thrilled & excited to see them step forward…
    We did can they. The torch is passed…..

  9. A very thoughtful statement, and as I scrolled through the comments, I couldn’t help noticing that not one commenter mentioned mental health assistance, which as you probably, is one of the 1st things to go onto the chopping block when it comes to balancing a typical state budget.

  10. Thank you for saying what I have been thinking. I have been disappointed younger generations since our day did not speak up, this is a welcome change. I am so encouraged by these young people and look forward to the consequences of their brave actions.

  11. I liked the speech you gave. Unfortunately it is just another talk following another traggic killing. I prdict it will fade away as all the others and then will resurface when another mass shooting happens. I am so sad our country is run by the NRA amd is consantly quoting the second amendment that was written over 200 years ago when we were a young ountry and the fear of a possible invasion was the reason for a ready military was necessary. Times have changed and there’s no way we could defend ourselves with a small army of local people. Get with the times and amend that 200 year old 2nd amendment.mlook at what Austrialia did in 1996 after the mass shooting. They haven’t had one since.

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