‘Many a brave American has died here’

This is the full letter home to love ones and what PFC Harold Higginbothm was thinking shortly before he died. I Honor Your Service to America.

Many a brave American has died here’
Here I sit in a shell-shocked country that is having its own civil war. I am here as an American fighting man.

My country’s heritage has told me that the price of freedom is often costly and often brings heartache to many people. What I was not aware of was the fact that I am a member of an ugly people. I have found that my fellow countrymen denounce my presence here, and that if I die defending a God-given right that I so dearly love, I will die in vain.

I do not believe this. I can’t force myself to believe that a nation of people can denounce their own children as they lay wounded among the fields of this land. I do not believe that such a mighty nation can say this, for it would be saying that all Americans who have died for this cause in the numerous battlefields throughtout our history have also died in vain. This is not the nation I was taught to love. These are the words of a nation dying of its own wounds.

Here there has been pain too horrible to tell, and death of which one should not speak! Was this in vain? Was it wrong to uphold a God-given right for a brother in a faraway place? Are we not all of the same Father, with the same gifts of life? If my death be in vain, then so is my life…and yours! Have the people of the mightiest nation on Earth forgotten the things that they as citizens are sworn to uphold? Have you drowned in your own selfishness and greed? Can you refuse a God-given right to a friend in need? If so, God help you!

The sight of soldiers rushing to defeat the enemy no matter its cost; the courage of the soldier who dies to save a friend; the sound of a man as he cries softly in the night for the friends he loved who have fallen to our foe. These are the things that make us proud to be Americans!

I can only pray that my countrymen might let us know that they are truly with us and our cause. I can only hope that when Memorial Day comes, the American flag might be raised to honor those who have fought and died so courageously here in Vietnam.

Many brave American has died here. With each death, there is a feeling that passes over the American Fighting Man. It would be best explained as a last request for which the words could not be found. One man found them, though. What these brave men have been trying to tell us is expressed in these words by [Canadian Lt. Col.] John McCrae:

“Take up our quarrel with the foe;
To you from failing hand we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders Fields.”

by Harold Sircy Higginbotham
Somewhere in Vietnam, 1968
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Here are additional links to this story:


"Corpsman receives Navy Cross, Vietnam", May 1968


PFC Harold Higginbothm MIA Hero

PFC Harold Higginbothm MIA Hero. Dana’s Dad Thomas who Served as a Corpsman, an Angle on the battlefield.

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