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The Sun Magazine

Essays, Memoirs, and True Stories

A Vietnam Diary

One of the more shocking things about Vietnam is the number of people with serious war-related injuries: a woman with her face half burned away, men without legs, children with significant birth defects due to fetal exposure to Agent Orange, which remained in the food chain long after the fighting had stopped. Yesterday I counted seven people. Today I counted four more.

The Beat Goes On

During the Vietnam War I asked one of the wise men of the peace movement, a kind of renegade Jesuit, if there was any force on earth that could end our love affair with war. “Only education,” he replied. “There has to come a time when they beat the drum and no one marches.”

Trying To Be Human

Zen Talks From Cheri Huber

My understanding of what the Buddha taught is that there is a reason suffering happens, and that it is possible to end suffering. For me, the easiest way to understand this is to recognize how my suffering arises from wanting something other than what is.


As we waited outside the theater for Pam to arrive, the late-afternoon sun buttery and generous, I was struck by how healthy everyone looked: we could have been the bowling team, the swim club. AIDS seemed remote for a moment: distant, unreal, a bad dream from which the world would one day awaken. 


Beside The Tracks

There are only two decorations in Tommy’s room, unless you count the beer cans, which you don’t. You simply trash them every morning like clockwork, after you’ve cleaned up the breakfast dishes, put away the sticky cereal boxes, swept the sandy kitchen floor.

His Master’s Voice

Whenever Dad came up to Nooksack from Seattle, he took my brother and me to the movies, or to a sandwich place on the waterfront where we shot pool. He booked a motel room in town where we’d watch color TV before he returned us to Mom’s.

*NOTE: Original copies of this issue are no longer available. Unbound, laser-printed copies will be provided for print orders.

Readers Write


Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, conscientious-objector declaration, the Tet Offensive

Personal Stories By Our Readers ▸


All the wrong people remember Vietnam. I think all the people who remember it should forget it, and all the people who forgot it should remember it.

Michael Herr

More Quotations ▸
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