Protest At Arlington National Cemetery in 1968

A bishop, a rabbi, a reverend. The event that brought members of Clergy and Laymen Concerned About Vietnam to Arlington National Cemetery in February 1968 was notable not for its fiery, virtuous speeches, but rather for its silence. The original plan was to hold a memorial service at the cemetery, but the Supreme Court ruled that the group's partisan nature nullified its right to assemble. Instead, 2,000 people — half of them clergy — moved about in hushed observance, praying at the foot of the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. Holding American flags were Bishop James Shannon, Rabbi Abraham Heschel and the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. When this protest occurred, it had been 31/2 years since Congress authorized President Lyndon B. Johnson to deploy U.S. troops to Vietnam. It would be seven more years before the United States completely withdrew from Vietnam.

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