We get a lot of really good stories over the opinion wire that we don’t have room to run in print. I liked this piece by Arizona Sen. John McCain on how he learned that the U.S. had put a man on the moon – a few years after it happened.
From the Moon to Hanoi
By John McCain
Special to The Washington Post
Neil Armstrong’s passing reminded me of the moment I learned of his historic accomplishment. I didn’t gather with my family around the television to watch him take his “small step” onto the surface of the moon. When the momentous event occurred, I had no idea it was happening. I and several hundred comrades were otherwise engaged — prisoners of war in the enemy’s capital, where in 1969, news could travel slowly.
Our captors in Hanoi went to considerable lengths to keep us in the dark. They didn’t restrict our access to all news but were selective about the information they allowed to reach us. They routinely apprised us of anti-war protests, race riots, assassinations and the like. Reports were usually piped into our cells during Hanoi Hannah’s “Voice of Vietnam,” an often unintentionally funny, if repetitious, daily broadcast about America’s manifold sins and woes.
“American GIs, don’t fight in this illegal and immoral war,” Hannah would plead, while cheerfully regaling us with victories by the people’s liberation forces and the latest evidence that the United States had become a dystopian society.
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