The veterans’ presence in Washington today is deeply confusing to the American mood. A police sergeant on duty at the Capitol says, ‘Hell, I’d throw in my badge before I touch these guys.’ A businessman, who was just passing by, now fussily clears a path for Bill Loivie, who has spent two years in military hospitals and will always need crutches. An old couple, he in red baseball cap, she in blue rinse, have come up from Georgia to see Washington in the spring and now they march with a woman who lost a son over there. Even a party of enormous ladies from the Daughters of the American Revolution, an organization that would gleefully detonate the world tomorrow and which happened to be meeting in Washington today, stand transfixed and almost crying, almost, as the carnage passes them by, including Jack Saul from California wearing a grotesque mask of Richard Nixon smiling. And when someone asks Jack, jokingly, what he himself looks like, he takes it off and reveals a face that looks as though he has just finished pouring acid on it. ‘Peace,’ he says.
Eyewitness to History
Civilization’s most momentous events come vibrantly alive in this magnificent collection of over three hundred eyewitness accounts spanning twenty-four turbulent centuries — remarkable recollections of battles, atrocities, disasters, coronations, assassinations and discoveries that shaped the course of history, all related in vivid detail by observers on the scene.