Today is Veterans Day. As such, I hope you are able to enjoy a day off and contemplate the benefits that were hard won by U.S. veterans. Because you’re busy—or disinclined to read blogs on a holiday—I’ll just point you to two veteran-related items.
The first is the reissuance of an amazing collection of photos from the Associated Press. This collection was photographed during the Vietnam War, and the images are remarkable. See excerpts from the complete set here.
As compelling as they are, I also recommend the accompanying story, written by then-foreign correspondent Ralph Blumenthal. His story opens:
The Things (We) Carried:
Condoms (to protect the rolls of film).
During the Vietnam War, photographers were often reporters and vice versa. Think of The Associated Press bureau chief Malcolm Browne’s 1963 prize-winning photos of a protesting monk committing fiery suicide (Slide 1), which persuaded President John F. Kennedy: “We’re going to have to do something about that regime.” Sure enough, a few months later, President Ngo Dinh Diem was overthrown and shot, followed closely by Kennedy’s own assassination 50 years ago in November.
Working out of the Saigon bureau as a correspondent for The New York Times from late 1969 to early 1971, I usually traveled with a Nikon or two around my neck, purchased cheaply (in those days) on R & R trips to Hong Kong or Singapore. You never knew when a picture would present itself. When it did, it was often bad news. Luckily for me, that didn’t happen much. I was happy to leave it to the professionals.
Read his whole essay here.
The other story is about a collection of military vehicles owned by a wealthy Silicon Valley engineer. Now, the story reports, the collections of tanks and other vehicles will for the first time be on public display, at a Massachusetts museum.
This quirkier story opens:
“The family of a Silicon Valley engineer who amassed one of the nation’s most extensive historic military vehicle collections is giving the tanks, missile launchers and armored vehicles to a Massachusetts-based museum that will preserve and display some of them.”
“Until now, the $30 million fleet of tanks has been refurbished and housed in seven storage sheds on a family estate up a winding, forested road above Silicon Valley; they are visited only under privately arranged tours.”
“But in a deal inked on July 4 and announced Monday in honor of Veteran’s Day, the 240 pieces have been signed over to The Collings Foundation, which preserves historical military aircraft and now plans to add a new military vehicle museum at its Stow, Mass., headquarters.”
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