P.O.W.S: A Celebration of Men Redeemed

IT represented, in a peculiarly American way, a ritual of resurrection. For the U.S., the war in Viet Nam had gone ambiguously: the nation's longest battle had ended in nothing like glory but in a kind of complex suspension. The nation could at least find its consolation, even its celebration, in the return of the prisoners. Here, at last, was something that the war had always denied—the sense of men redeemed, the satisfaction of something retrieved from the tragedy. The P.O.W.s' return bore a tangible finality that the war itself, even in...

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