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Remembering Our War

For the Waco High School Class of 1960
Author: Pat Payne

Recently I completed a short video for my sons, David and Greg, with images of those who I served with in the Vietnam War. I shared it with Jeanne Harmon asking her to forward to just the military vets within our class. Jeanne replied, “war affects us all” and suggested these memories may be appropriate for our entire class. After some thought I agreed with Jeanne.

Most likely this war had an affect on each of us who graduated from Waco High School in 1960. Regardless of whether we served in the military or ever set foot in Vietnam or our gender, this ten year war impacted us personally or a member of our family or our friends. I care about my family having first hand images of the young men who served. I care about preserving their memories as long as possible because history is important. History defines the time in which we lived, our early years in Waco, our young adult lives, our families, our careers and now our sunset years.

This is why the great work by Jeanne Harman (Town Crier), Rayburn Taylor (Website) and Bob Easter (Finding Classmates) has set our class apart—we care about each other and preserving our memories. Recently the call went out to find the resources to carry on Rayburn’s good work with our website. A number of our classmates responded and I was happy to join them. The reason was to help keep our classmates memory alive via the website. Until the very last one of us closes our eyes for the last time we should be able to flip through the web pages and remember our younger years in Waco. Dr. Seuss said it best, “Don’t cry because it’s over. Smile because it happened.” As we look at the WHS pictures hopefully we all realize we came from a special town in the middle of Texas, have lived a good and meaningful life—and have so very much to smile about. Then we can go to sleep.

As previously noted, this video is for my two sons who appear in the last frame. About a third of the young men you will see were killed or wounded between September, 1965 – August, 1966. The song accompanying the pictures was written and sung by Jim Moore, a Vietnam veteran, who is the father of the performer Pink. She is singing harmony. The lyrics are worth paying attention to. They ring true for any soldier regardless which war they fought in. This video is meant to be relevant to both our WHS years and today as the world struggles with terrorism and rogue countries. Hoping this video is meaningful to you which can be viewed by clicking here.

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