Remembering Great Men...

Perhaps I am not using the correct word in the title of this post. Great may not be adequate in either case, one man so loved, one man so hated.

Tomorrow, millions will be watching Michale Jackson's memorial. It will be live streamed, it will be televised, and I for one will be tuned in to watch. I almost feel guilty about that. I would almost prefer to remember the man as he was onstage.

Sir Hotness and I have rarely ever disagreed, I found out the day Michael died that we disagree on how we choose to remember him. I won't apologize for loving Michael Jackson's music. I won't apologize for thinking he was a musical genius.

There is another man who died today (at the age of 93) who may sooner be forgotten but who left an equally large, if terrible, fingerprint on our society. Robert McNamara, often heralded as the architect of the Vietnam War. See the TimesOnline obituary.
Read a 2004 interview with Doug Saunders

I heard a rebroadcast of an NPR radio interview with him this morning and felt how hard it has been for him to deal with the events of that war and the events caused by that war. However, even facing old age and pending death, i don't believe he ever repented for his role in the Vietnam War. He didn't see a need to. Did he say, "I'm sorry?" sure, but he'd immediately follow his apology with "Please understand" ... "Regrettable" ... and excuses. Always saying, "We need to learn a lesson..."

I think he honestly believed that the Vietnam War was necessary. He made decisions at the time based on intel which led him to belief communist Asia and World War (nuclear) War was eminent if Vietnam wasn't helped and he saw the US role in Vietnam as "helping" much as our soldiers now are helping Iraq.

He felt so strongly about trying to share what lessons he felt should be gleaned from Vietnam that he wrote an autobiography: In Retrospect: The Tragedy and Lessons of Vietnam

I was so enthralled listening to him that I have found my "Beach Book" for when we go to Florida in a few weeks for summer vaca.

Many will agree with me, many will disagree with me but this week we say a final farewell to two men who helped shape the United States as we know it. Two Great Men.

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