tv Oral Histories Susan Rothmann West Point Interview CSPAN March 17, 2018 7:59am-9:08am EDT
the white house, the supreme court, and public policy events aroundington, d.c., and >> next, susan rothmann talks about her experience as an army spouse dealing with antiwar sentiment while her husband fought in vietnam. leading the fort campbell readiness group and taking care of families during the 1985 gender tragedy where 248 american soldiers, most of them from the same division, died at a plane crash at gander, newfoundland. this is run by the west point world history. this is about an hour. >> good afternoon, this is the 24th of february 2016, i dined here in the west point center for oral history with mrs. susan rothmann. how are you? susan: fine, thank you. >> would you please spy your lesson for us and your last
name? susan: rothmann. susan. >> thanks very much. tell mail a bit about yourself, where you were born, where you grew up and what your life was like when you were a child. susan: i was born in the state of new jersey, grew up in new jersey. part of the time down at the dirt -- at the jersey shore, and then montclair new jersey is where i went to high school. >> what did your folks do when you are growing up? susan: my father was a salesman, ok, for pringle dear. my mother, during world war ii was a legal secretary in new york city. she's heard having children, she was a stay-at-home mom. -- started having children, she
was a stay-at-home mom. >> how did you meet your husband? susan: i met harriet on a blind date -- harry on a blind date by a friend who was engaged to one of harry's classmates. >> did you start dating when he was still at the debt? susan: yes. >> what was that like? i didn't really know much about the military. my father was in world war ii but i was born after the war. experience unique because i had never been to west point. it was beautiful. -- cadets in their uniforms everybody who i met, a lot of harry's friends were already engaged or dating for a while. we did not meet until his first year. september of his first year.
so a lot of them had been dating for two or three years, but they were all very friendly and welcoming. it was a unique experience. we got married at west point too in the catholic chapel. >> so when you are dating him, did you come up for football games? susan: yes. >> did you get to see him play? susan: yes. that was fun. i first met harry talking about, i met him down at the field by the water. ok, he paid 150-pound football, and my friend was with me. i met harry while he was practicing. she is pointing to all these guys and going, there he is. i was saying, they all look the same. when i met harry, he came up, took off his helmet, there he was with the black underneath his eyes, all sweaty and everything. that is when i saw him.
what did you think? i thought, ok. guysld me later all the were saying, harry, she is a doll. her? n't want to date it became a really hard time. but obviously i stayed the whole weekend, and from there we were together until we got married. >> do they play baseball in the spring their? susan: yes, but kerry did not play baseball in his first year. >> you did not -- you came up for all the dances? susan: no. ok and when you got married in the catholic church, how was that? susan: it was beautiful. the chapel is small. it was wonderful because all his relatives lived -- harry is from
white plains, new york. maybe new jersey, nobody had to travel far away. so that made it really nice. >> you remember who officiated? susan: i do not. >> i ask because we interviewed senior mccormick and he would have been there at that time. after your graduation and wedding -- when was your wedding? susan: june 10, 1967. >> your first assignment was germany? susan: no. we went to fort benning, georgia, where henry went through i obesity, ranger tom -- iobc, ranger, and others. i lived off post and a lot of the wives left with her husband went to ranger school.
i stayed because i worked at the local hospital and some of the other wives did too, and i moved in with a classmate's wife. she substitute taught, so i just stayed there while henry was away at ranger school. when he came back, we did the airborne training. >> what did you think of fort benning? humid.very hot, ok, very lots of cockroaches. [laughter] susan: not used to that, coming from where i came from. buthe post itself was fine, you got to remember that was basically my first post ever. so that was an experience. in those days when you went to the commissary, you could not wear shorts. you could not wear pants. you had to have a dress on or a skirt. >> wow.
that is a little unusual. susan: that was back in 1967. it was still sort of, i don't know, formal, still sort of old-school a little bit. so that was hard to get used to when it was so hot. >> and what are some of your other recollections of fort benning? i mean, since we lived off post, and when harry was away in ranger school, you know, i worked. you know, columbus, georgia was fine, ok. it was fine. i have no complaint. >> when he was going through airborne school, did you go out and get a chance to watch the tower and that sort of thing? susan: not that i remember. >> ok. susan: i was still working then, but not that i remember.
>> and then germany came after that, right? susan: yes. >> what was it like packing up to go to germany and what were you thinking to go so far away? susan: we did not have a lot to pack because we got married in june, so mostly it was just our wedding gifts. we had no furniture or anything. when we got there, i mean, i had never been out of the united states, ok. so that going to europe was like a big deal. , only thing was i had never ever left my family, so to put it when i first got there, that was hard. i was a little homesick but the had quite was, is we a few of harry's classmates that were stationed with us there. and we got together a lot. but as one thing being an army wife is the camaraderie of the
other wives. you become like a family because everybody like you is away from home. lot.arriet was gone a -- harry was gone a lot. we did a lot together but not things, just getting together and doing things because basically we did not have enough money to go traveling. >> what was it like interacting with the german citizens? susan: we didn't interact much. we would walk downtown sometimes , and you know, they would say hi and they would be friendly, but i didn't speak any german. i had my little german dictionary book. but they were friendly. you know, they would come to you and say oh, american, american, you know. they were fine but i really didn't interact a lot with the german people.
didn'tso you said you really have enough money to travel. who stands out in your mind at some of the best friends from that trying -- that time? stiles whoand george were there. classmate of harry's, who i knew before we went over there. they got married the day before we did, and harry was in their wedding and then george was in our wedding the next day. jack and eileen kelly, ok. we became very close friends with them. barbara, joe and barbara terry. that is all i can really think of that you know, that i would see all the time. >> when you were over there, did
the battalion have any formal events or anything like that, battalion balls? what was that like? .usan: very formal, like i said back in those days we got there at the end of december 20 -- 1967. it was 1968. when you went to a formal, you were in your formal gown, but back in those days you wore the long formal gloves. >> wow. susan: those were expected, wearing the long gloves. if the wives, officers' wives had a luncheon, usually once a month, you had to wear short gloves and a half which required -- hat which was required. i friend eileen kelly and saved money, we went out and shopped. we bought a brown hat and a black hat, brown gloves and black gloves, and we would interchange every month.
one month i wear brown, one month she would wear black because neither one of us were gloves fans are hats fans. -- or hats fans. that is what we did. >> your first child was born in germany, correct? susan: yes. october 68 -- 1968. >> what was that experience like giving birth in a german hospital i assume or was it -- susan: at that time all of us who were stationed, it was the esbaden in -- wi hospital that we had our babies. that was a heck of an experience because my baby was almost a monthly. back in those days they didn't do the ultrasound, or after a week or two, induce you. and harry was supposed to have been there, but after about 10
days, they said, you need to come back out to the field. so harry went back out into the field, but they told harry that when your wife goes into labor, she knows who to call, i would look at the helicopter and get you there at the hospital. well, when i went into labor, ok, and friends took me to the scott wasand my son born at 10:00 a.m., and harry got there at noon. >> wow. susan: so i had my first baby all by myself. >> in a foreign country. susan: in a foreign country, in a hospital, yeah, with nobody there. >> was your friend able to stay with you? susan: no, no. back in those days, nobody was allowed, even the husbands back then.
ok, they could have been in the labor room but not the delivery room. very strict rules. and usually back then, you didn't have a private room. when you went into labor, it was like rowhouses. there could be for five or six of us all in labor. >> wow. susan: that is a little bit different, isn't it? >> definitely. susan: when did you all >> returned from germany? susan: we returned in february of 1969. scott was four months old. >> that must have been something traveling. susan: he was a good baby, not bad coming back to the states with him at all actually. he was really good on the airplane and everything. >> when you returned from germany, you knew your print -- your husband was going to be deployed to vietnam. where did you live? susan: i went back to montclair,
new jersey. my mother started to look for an apartment for me you know, and our hometown. hometown. every place she went, as soon as they find out i would be living there with the baby, they said no, they didn't want a single woman and a baby living in the apartment. and my mother would say to him, but my husband in the military is going over to vietnam. she is not single. she is married with the child, and they wouldn't give her the apartment. my mother was very outraged. found -- myy mother mother was working, and a lady found out that my mom was looking for an apartment, and borrowed a three family home. the third floor was available. my mother went, saw it, and that
is where i lived on the third floor apartment about less than three miles from my mom and my sister. so you know, yeah. >> wow. so you did not go back to benning with your husband when he went back for his refresher course? susan: that two weeks that he went, no. most wives didn't. >> did you get a chance to see him after he was done? came back home. he came back home and by that ,ime i got the apartment, ok our household hadn't come back from germany yet. that usually took eight to 10 weeks but being around family, everybody between harry's family in new york, my family in jersey, we got all the stuff that was out of their basements .r attics ok for furniture
so that part it worked out well. >> ok. home, you hadme to live in montclair because of the army policy. tommy about what that our midfield see was. -- that army policy was. susan: i can't really answer directly what the army a lessee is, but most wives went home to their families or their husband's families. while they were gone for that year in nam.. but i have to tell you though, it was an awful time because they call the guys vietnam baby killers or this or that. i could be walking in my hometown, you know, and people would say, oh, people that i
knew. and they would know that harry was in vietnam. how do you feel? don't you feel like he has deserted you? why did he go there? never understand that. i would look at these people and think, my husband is over fighting in vietnam, and you have a great time here. that we are fine and safe in the united states. oh. must have been difficult to deal with. what was your support network that? your family and friends? susan: the parents only lived 50 minutes away, so i had my family right there in montclair, then i went every weekend basically up to valhalla which is right
outside of white plains and spent the weekend with my in-laws because dad wasn't working on the weekends. this was the first grandchild on both sides. and so then i would go up on friday and come back on monday. so i had a lot of family, but also i got together with some of the wives. ,am dials who i had been with and philadelphia. eileen kelly lived down and washington, dc, so we would go -- they would come to visit me or i would go to visit them. you didn't have cell phones, so you didn't talk a lot on the phone because it cost money. long-distance phone calls cost money and they were not cheap. so you had people you could rely on and people you could communicate to stay in touch with folks. what was your daily routine like? did you work? susan: i did not work.
since i had the baby i did not work. i stayed home. i had worked on to we left for germany, but then i did not work when you came back. he was only four months old. he was a baby. i was a stay-at-home mom that year, just taking care of my child, ok, being close to my family. now, did you hear from your husband regularly when he was overseas? susan: harry would write letters when he could especially being in the infantry, out in the field a lot. but if i did get letters, sometimes i would get 3, 4, 5 letters at a time. sometimes i didn't get a letter for 10 days or 12 days. it depended when they came out to harry to get the letters. or sometimes i would get a letter once a week.
harry every single day he was in vietnam. every time i put the baby down did not, i would -- i have a whole lot to say but i would write a letter every day when he was gone. >> that is outstanding. do you still have those letters? susan: harry could not see those letters from where he was being out in the field, but i still have all his letters from vietnam. >> that is wonderful. did he ever call? susan: i think harry called once or twice on that. once or twice and it was really hard. it was hard. >> now, did you follow the news with the war? susan: yes. >> and how was that? susan: i mean, everybody was
against the war in vietnam including the news. you know, i would watch it, and you know, they would show the things. it would scare you, and for a while i wouldn't watch it because it just wasn't worth it. >> ok. and did you hear of any casualties overseas? did any of your friends suffer? susan: the worst one was jack kelly. a classmate of harry's. when they came back from germany, they came and stood with me for about 2.5 days in my apartment. and their daughter colleen is our goddaughter. and she was a baby. and then they went and they got
their car that they owned. that is when the cars came in. they went down to d.c., and that is where eileen lived. but six weeks after jack got there, he was killed in action, and harry had already been over there since april. when eileen called and told me, my mother took care of scott for a week, and i drove down to d.c. to be with eileen to make the funeral arrangements. it was buried at arlington cemetery. that was a bad time. >> how was she notified? do you know? i really can't say. i don't know. jack's father was a three-star general stationed at the naval war college at the time.
i don't know if general kelly heard first, eileen -- i don't know. i don't remember. >> it is good you were able to go to d.c. and be with her than. susan: yes. >> it must've been a stressful drive down there for you. susan: the whole week was stressful. making the arrangements, you have to wait for the body to come back. it was stressful because she was getting letters from jack. like i said, letters are still coming in because jack is in the infantry too. so we were getting letters that week from jack you know when he -- that was really hard. it was hard for me because harry was there. like, oh my you goodness. even though other classmates had been killed, this one was the closest.
closecause we were very friends. terribleust've been a thing to deal with. good you could be there for eileen. susan: yes. >> when did your husband returned from vietnam? ofan: he returned in april 1970. >> now, did he go on leave while he was in vietnam? susan: yes, he did are and are. -- r and r. over inin april, i went october. he was there almost seven months when i went over, and we decided i would not take scott with me. scott was just turned a year old. my in-laws took scott for the five or six days that i was gone. >> ok, and where did you go?
, and: we went to hawaii actually harry was actually only really their life three nights and four days. -- like three nights and four days. it wasn't long. like when i got there, i got their night four for harry. and when you went i don't know, some center where all the military wives whose husbands were going to be there for those few days, they sat us down like in a hall. when they told us the buses came, there could have been two or three buses. and then you wait for your husband to come out or boyfriend. and you get to hug for a second, and then of course you have to go back inside in the hall, and they give you a briefing. >> sounds like the army system. susan: a briefing.
you are sitting there like holding hands. you haven't seen each other in seven months, and you have to listen to this briefing. so we had the briefing, then from there we went back to our hotel. >> and how did he look when you first saw him? did he look the same? susan: no, harry had lost -- he was very thin, very thin. looked very haggard. you know, and the one thing i did notice those few days was if he heard any kind of loud noise, he would jump a little bit. that was understandable from being in the infantry. >> do you are members of the things you did while he was on leave -- you remember some of the things you did while he was on leave? susan: we enjoyed the beach, we did some sightseeing.
i had never been to hawaii. harry had been there as a cadet. that was nice because he knew some of the places to go to, so we did sightseeing. mostly stayed at the beach. we both loved the beach, and getting good food. [laughter] especially for my husband. >> sure, try to fatten him up a little bit before he went back. so when he went back, he only had five more months? susan: yes. came back i think it was like the first week in april. >> what was it like when he came home? what did he come home to? susan: he flew into i think kennedy airport, and we all went . a lot of family members went. you have to remember we had not seen him in a year.
his son was now 18 months old. >> so now walking. learning to talk. susan: a little bit. hard.was that was hard because scott -- even though i had a picture of --ry, and i would talk about he is only 18 months, but i would talk about his daddy and we would kiss daddy's picture every night. that was different than seeing daddy in person. she just looked at harry like, who the heck are you? [laughter] took: it was, you know, it him a little while to get used to him. having somebody else around, it was just mommy and you know, and him. we ran our apartment for a year together. >> now was there a readjustment
now when soldiers returned from overseas, there is some pretty intensive reintegration. was there a real -- readjustment for you? susan: they did not have that kind of back then. we stayed home. harry had a 30 day leave. we stayed for a couple weeks with family and we were going. after that, we drove down to fort benning. and found some place to live before harry started working again. they did not have that kind of readjustment. harry came back and had to readjust himself, trying to get back to a normal life again. would jump at he
certain sounds. how was it when he came back to vietnam? >> he was a little jumpy. he would have nightmares. did not talk a lot of -- did not talk a lot about it. i would wake him up. >> how is the advanced course? how is it being back in benning? had it changed any? it really hadn't changed that much. we got to live in a nicer apartment than the first time. there harry started advanced course, he became a ranger instructor. i remember what it was like for two months, three months. he was a ranger instructor before the advanced course
started. he would be five or six days as a ranger instructor away and then come home five or six days and go back. first 23at for the months. -- two or three months. >> after the advanced course, is this about the time when he was dubbed for graduate school? >> no. we went up to fort lewis washington. >> how was for lewis? >> i loved it. our second son was born. >> that was a different experience. harry, then they will let the husbands come in to labor -- in the labor room. not the delivery room, but the labor room. so you took classes that teach us how to breathe. harry went to all of those
classes. son was born within two hours after he went into labor, so the time we got to the hospital, they rest me right up to the delivery room. all those classes harry had taken to be in the labor room did not work because i went to -- directly to the delivery room. at least he was there when i was in the recovery, harry came in and he was there but he did not get to do everything he had learned. like living in fort lewis? announcer: for lewis -- -- we hadwis was a small quarters but that was ok. how farashington's day, we can i go from home?
everybody was friendly. the one thing about military, it is a camaraderie. most of us are away from our family so you do things together . you do things together on the holidays people did not have their families come out. didy and i both, parents not have enough money to fly out. it wasn't like our family had a lot of money, so we spent holidays with friends and your children and helped take care of each other's children. i loved it there. washington state was gorgeous. the pacific northwest is a gorgeous place. >> this is still the time when the vietnam war is going on. what were the social or political atmosphere? 72?he war ended in
73? 75. >> ok. most of the people that we were torshad already had their -- tours in vietnam. what was different was harry was a captain and he had a company, but anybody could join the army then. that was a lot different. >> how so? >> i do not know how to explain that. this was a time when the army was trying to -- it was hard to recruit at this time, right? we are just beginning to get to
the volunteer army? >> yeah. harry had to deal with a lot of things. getting calls in the middle of the night. >> after his command time, that is when you went to grad school, right? what was it like? >> that was, beautiful campus. we just have the two boys. ,e lived about 10 miles outside sort of like out in the farm country and they built these townhomes out there and it was all families that were going to law school or residencies for doctors. there was 10 or 12 families who had small children. it was nice. we had a few classmates that were going to unc or some are
going to duke, see you would get together. .t was a more relaxing time harry studied a lot. he would stay at school all day because having two small boys, you cannot study at home. then he would come home and i would make dinner. once we got them to bed, harry would be in their studying. .t was a nice two years knowing we were coming back to west point to teach was wonderful for him and i because we were coming back home. we had never been close to home in those years, so that we were looking forward to. to be back with family. any, how did your military, you are a family this was the mid-70's.
no issues at all? >> none at all. >> what was west point like? coming back each year in the history department? >> that was wonderful because we had so many classmates teaching in all different departments. close friends. , were likery and i this is where we met. this is where we got married. this is home to us. it was wonderful to be back in the atmosphere and going to not knowgames and i do if they do it today, but you sat with your class of 67. i do not even know if they do that today. that was fun. just being back with all your old friends you might not have seen. my two boys, even though they were four and seven when we came
here, and we were here for three here, they remember living and we looked up at stony lonesome and they loved it. went to elementary school here and our third son was born here in 1977. he was born at west point. >> it is a great family post. >> great family post. >> after family west -- after west point, you ended up at the pentagon. was the difference between west and the pentagon? work afterne back to my boys got to a certain age, i went back to work full-time. i always worked and doctors lived inso we alexandria, virginia.
we had friends were stationed at the pentagon but it is different because everybody lives in all different places. it is not like you are on a military post and by that time, most wives are working. kids are older so you are more and the children's activities. we had military functions to go to, but it was not like when you were on post. it was like, he went to work, i went to work, we came home. >> you lift your lives. .> we still had friends we would get together with military friends, but it was different than living on a post. assignment after that was port campbell. -- fort campbell.
about 1985, you arrived. his first job was on staff. what you think? >> i liked it. we had really nice quarters. , thate the three boys they could actually have -- it was the first time, we have the three boys they could actually have their own rooms. we hadrules back when only two boys, you were only our -- allowed to bedroom quarters. bedroom quarters. it was like an individual house. that was nice. we knew people that had been stationed there but we met a lot of other people and we had a son in high school at fort campbell high, a son in middle school, and a son and -- and a son in
elementary school. you got to meet a lot more people because you had children and all the schools. it was not a whole lot to do outside of fort campbell, but we used to go up to nashville and these to have opryland. the boys loved it there. hopkinsville. i loved hopkinsville. that was in the place. i liked it. unfortunately, there was a tragedy that happened not at fort campbell but a plane bringing multinational observers from the sinai crashed in gander, newfoundland and your husband was not in command yet, but this accelerated the process of command. tell me about the events surrounding that tragedy. >> oh boy.
>> or your role in it. >> it was hard. heard, i had a good friend who lived a couple blocks down the housing area. harry have gotten a call and told me there was a plane crash. he had to leave. i do not really know everything and a friend of mine called, and said i have wives out here in the courtyard whose husbands -- >> they are all expecting. >> they are yelling and screaming there was a plane wreck. they did not know whether their husbands were in it. i got a call from harry and he told me what happened. before i knew it, our brigade commander's wife came over and
the general's wife, mrs. patrick came to my house. they set down and talking about telling us what we have to do. the only thing i remember was, we went to some of the wife's ands to see how they were the one that stuck out to me the wife.as the chaplain's we went to her home. i had never met her. just could not believe it. we were talking and aussie kept saying, was, but i just talked to him. when they stopped at gander, they had all called. can't wait to see you in a couple hours. we will be home.
that is all she kept saying. i just talked to him. he is not gone. that was hard. that is the one wife i really, really remember. it was a nightmare. it was a total nightmare. battalion now the manager's wife. you are having to deal with a family readiness group or family support group and trying to figure out how to deal with helping all of these families best you can. how did that go? your was hard, because husband gets up -- battalion and it is supposed to be a happy experience having a ceremony that he is going to take over of supposednd is -- it is to be a big thing.
ofm trying to take care widows, and you are trying to ine care of new wives coming , their husbands replacing the ones that passed away. that were still part of the battalion who did thisit home, so you had collaboration -- conglomeration of all these different women. it was very hard. thank goodness we had the family support group. general patrick went up to washington to make sure these widows could stay in housing for six months because at that time it was not like it -- like that.
you had to be out of housing within 30 days. thank goodness they let the families stay there for six months. had the first six months, we had quite a few widows still .here, and it was hard it was very hard. >> i know the scale is completely different, but how did this experience compared with the experience with mrs. eileen kelly? whenduring the vietnam era you are helping her deal with her loss? now you are helping other families deal with their loss? were there any similarities? >> it was totally different. passing,en and jack's they were close friends. we always stayed close to eileen.
this was different. , i cannot even explain it. sadness.re was so much really hard. it was even harder on my husband. years you have two more of being in battalion command and how did the battalion grow or chain? -- chain? change? >> it got a lot better. it was a great experience. i had some wonderful wives. -- being the
battalion commander's wife was a whole different spectrum for me. i just married somebody who happened to be in the military and as his rank group, -- grew, i just marry this man and so i come along for the ride and all of the sudden being a commander's wife was a different experience. thatnot the type of person likes to stand out in a crowd or having 10 or 12 or 15 women looking at you while i am talking. that was hard for me in the beginning. i tried to make it a relaxed atmosphere. job, but here doing a it got better. just in the- it was
beginning. probably the first year was hard, but things settle down and it got better. after battalion command, you went to a naval war college. was that a different environment? >> of the new rhode island? --, rhode island? rhode island? we were up in the north again, being close it of family again. fort adams was wonderful. wives,navy wives, army yeah. it was a lot of fun to two years we were there. i was working again.
our oldest son was in college in new york and our middle son had his jr. and senior year of high school there. that was great. our little one was in sixth and seventh grade there. center up aten fort adams that our youngest one could go to and troy having his last two years of high school was great for him. it was great for him in this sense because, the kids who grew up in newport, were used to fort adams every year or two years of military children coming to their schools. they were friendly to the military kids. which made it easier for your children to adapt. the one thing i have to say is, i grew up in one state with all family around.
my children were army brats and i give them all the credit in the world for these children to go traveling around with their parents and having to drag them everywhere. i think it is a great experience for them, but i give them credit for doing that. >> then come your final assignment was backed up to gone again. -- back to the pentagon again. >> our last six years. when we first got there, it was the gulf war. unbelievable.were >> he was planning the operations, wasn't to? >> yes. . was working we only had one son at home,
because troy had gone off to college. the whole -- hardest adjustment was for my youngest son. he was entering eighth grade and we lived in a civilian community in alexandria and they were not used to military kids. all these kids had gone through elementary school together, so he was like an outcast and probably the first two years of my son's, it was hard on him. he had no friends. he played soccer, was into sports, but nobody would invite him over. it was very hard. after that, it got better. i felt really bad. that is an awful age for children to begin with, and so was hardest on him. otherwise, i have always loved the d.c. area.
it is a wonderful place to be stationed. >> as her husband was planning desert storm, what were all the other military spouses -- how did that affect your lives because of the long hours? >> i can't answer that because we do not have a lot of social events at the time. i did not even know a lot of the men becausen the they were so busy. we had friends stationed in d.c. . that was one thing nice. again i see them, but was working full-time. we had children. it is different, totally different. what has it been like since
your husband has been retired from the military? -- inn he retired and 96 96, harry got a job in orlando, florida. we moved to orlando. and became civilians. >> was it a big adjustment? for me, butcularly i think it was a big adjustment for harry. he had been in the military a long time. tohink it was hard at first be in retirement, but he worked at a place where there was a lot of military people. adjusted. it took him longer. >> now you are back living in new york. you have come home. >> yes.
>> what is it like being so close to west? >> we love it. backf the reasons we come is our children are scattered. we have one that lives and works in boston. my youngest son lives in the d.c. area. and lives in maryland. in longldest son lives island. coming back here, we can drive to see the children and grandchildren instead of having down andd them flying if their families grew to fly down to us is expensive when you have 4, 5 people flying down. joined it at the time when the children were younger because we were 35 minutes from disney world.
it was like coming back home. who stillthe brother lives in new york. i have a sister who lives in jersey. my other sister who lives in boston is 15 minutes from my son , so we feel like we're back home. , and eveneat place though we are retired, we can close. facilities being i do like being back in new york. even the cold weather. everyone asks us why would you go from the warm weather to new york? but it has been fine. >> you kind of said what west means to you -- west print means to you, but is there anything i have not said that you would like to talk about?
-- point is meaningful. my oldest son got here -- got married at the catholic chapel. anything.hink of >> it has been a pleasure to talk with you and i enjoyed hearing about your experiences. have a wonderful day. >> thank you. announcer: this weekend, on the c-span network, saturday at 9:00 a.m., american history tv with daylong live coverage from ford's theater in washington, d.c., the annual abraham lincoln co-author ofh the our little monitor, the greatest invention of the civil war. william harris, michael burling game, abraham lincoln, a life.
abolitionists, and walter star, author of lincoln's war secretary. life fromc-span2 is the new museum of the bible in washington, d.c. discussing the bible's influence on literature and its impact on government, legal systems, education, and human rights with the museum's director, seth ballinger. we will take your calls during the program. watch in the c-span networks. -- on the c-span networks. you are watching american history tv, which airs every weekend. we are live up ford's speeder in washington, d.c. with an all-day symposium on abraham lincoln's life and legacy. the symposium should be getting started in a few minutes. while we wait, here are some highlights. see the entire documentary on sunday at 4:00
p.m. eastern on american history tv, only on c-span3. >> we spoke to five of the american soldiers on march 16, 1968. . kerry garbo flow of stockton, california, gary texas, -- del rio, simpson of jackson, mississippi, -- michael bernard of florida. >> you can shoot anything you want. anything that moved. >> shoot anything, man, woman, children, the whole bit. a, b, c. every living thing. that was the order. >> this is something a soldier has to do, to take orders and carry them out.
>> that morning at 7:00, we we boarded the chopper. >> it makes you think even if they were considered piece -- beasts, if you would think a water buffalo calf or a piglet would fare better than a child. how did the guys look when they were doing this? >> like they were having a good time. >> just about everybody was busy. >> what do you think a war crime is? >> what do i consider a war crime? being over there. just the idea of being over there. >> the academy award-winning short documentary on the my lai
massacre. americans recount the events in vietnam -- of my lai my lai, vietnam. >> we will look back to the turbulent time of war, political assassinations, and the space race, women's rights, a election,political the rise of the political left and right. guests include jim webb, the author of the vietnam war novel "fear the fire," and pulitzer prize winning author of the book of what they marched into sunlight," of book vietnam and
america." 1968 -- america in turmoil. journal"'s "washington and american history tv on c-span3. >> c-span, where history unfolds daily. in 1979, c-span was created as a public service. today, we continue to bring you unfiltered coverage of congress, the white house, the supreme court, and public holocene c --s in washington, d washington, d.c.. c-span is brought to you by your cable or satellite provider. are watching american history tv. today, we're live from ford's theatre in washington, d.c. with an all-day symposium on abraham lincoln's life and legacy.
we will learn about his cabinet of 1862, the 16th president and his relationship with african-americans, and abolitionists. we will also hear about lincoln 's secretary of war, edwin stanton. lincoln institute cohosting theatre are today symposium. first up, a discussion about the monitor.he uss i this is live coverage on c-span3 .
>> today's symposium will be getting underway in a moment or so. in the meantime, something to learn about abraham lincoln -- he visited ford's theatre to watch a production of the comedy ," andmerican cousin during the performance, john wilkes booth shot him. the theater officially reopened and national historic site theater, producing live performances.
>> good morning. good morning, ladies and gentlemen. my name is paul and i am the director of ford's theatre. on behalf of the entire staff -- here atds and the ford's, and the board of trustees, i want to welcome you to the great day we a plan today. the abraham lincoln institute 21st annual symposium.