How Children Have Made a Difference: Part 1

To think that someday we, Generation Y, will be in the history books is horrifying to say the least. What will they say of us? Will it be the same as they say of us now – that there’s no hope for the future generations to come? And most importantly, will we have done anything to refute their claims? In history, children have showed how much they can impact the world. And I mean children as young as four years old to college-aged. Though this article is mainly historical review, it’s still worth the read because it shows how much worth you – at any age – have.

Historical revelations that youth can be more than just youth. (photo by Wystan)

Historical revelations that youth can be more than just youth. (photo by Wystan)

#1. Vietnam War Protests

From 1962 to 1973, people would protest in opposition of the Vietnam war. Who were the main protesters? College students. In 1962, the Students of a Democratic Society came to be, after the organization Student League for Industrial Democracy had realized it’s name was not very effective at attracting new recruits.

In researching more about the topic, I found this wonderful article by isreview.org, that explains very clearly about the Vietnam War, which I am going to quote here:

“…In April 1965, SDS called the first national demonstration against the war in Vietnam. They expected a few thousand people to attend. On the day, 20,000 people, mostly college students, arrived in Washington. Paul Potter, then president of SDS, gave a speech that captured the outrage:

Most of us grew up thinking that the United States was a strong but humble nation that…respected the integrity of other nations and other systems; and that engaged in wars only as a last resort…. If at some point we began to hear vague and disturbing things about what this country had done in Latin America, China, Spain and other places, we remained somehow confident about the basic integrity of this nation’s foreign policy…. The withdrawal from the hysteria of the Cold War era and the development of a more aggressive, activist foreign policy has done much to force many of us to rethink attitudes that were deep and basic sentiments about our country.
The incredible war in Vietnam has provided the razor, the terrifying sharp cutting edge that has finally severed the last vestige of illusion that morality and democracy are the guiding principles of American foreign policy…. The further we explore the reality of what this country is doing and planning in Vietnam the more we are driven toward the conclusion that the United States may well be the greatest threat to peace in the world today.

What kind of system is it that justifies the United States or any country seizing the destinies of the Vietnamese people and using them callously for its own purpose…that consistently puts material values before human values and still persists in calling itself free and still persists in finding itself fit to police the world?”

Although the war continued, it gained massive popularity to protest and gave hope that ageism would be a thing of the past. That a generation of young people could truly be something and do something.

 

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