Vietnam War Sayings and Quotes

With a death toll of over three million, the Vietnam War had an incredible human cost. The United States’ involvement in the conflict divided the nation and spawned an anti war movement among US citizens as the war dragged on. Below you’ll find a collection of wise and insightful Vietnam War quotes from the people that lived through it.


I covered the Vietnam War. I remember the lies that were told, the lives that were lost - and the shock when, twenty years after the war ended, former Defense Secretary Robert S. McNamara admitted he knew it was a mistake all along.     

Walter Cronkite

You can kill ten of my men for every one I kill of yours, but even at those odds, you will lose and I will win.     

Ho Chi Minh

When the soldiers came home from Vietnam, there were no parades, no celebrations. So they built the Vietnam Memorial for themselves.     

William Westmoreland

I was terrified of the Vietnam War when I was 13. I thought I was going. The draft was such an ominous thing, I felt as if it was going to trickle down to me.     

Dylan McDermott

These men were wrongfully rejected, the veterans. The fighting man should never have been blamed for Vietnam.     

Neil Sheehan

Congress should stop treating veterans like they're asking for a hand out when it comes to the benefits they were promised, and they should realize that, were it not for these veterans, there would be nothing to hand out.     

Nick Lampson

The war against Vietnam is only the ghastliest manifestation of what I'd call imperial provincialism, which afflicts America's whole culture—aware only of its own history, insensible to everything which isn't part of the local atmosphere.     

Stephen Vizinczey

The Vietnam War required us to emphasize the national interest rather than abstract principles. What President Nixon and I tried to do was unnatural. And that is why we didn't make it.     

Henry Kissinger

This war has already stretched the generation gap so wide that it threatens to pull the country apart.     

Frank Church

Television brought the brutality of war into the comfort of the living room. Vietnam was lost in the living rooms of America - not on the battlefields of Vietnam.     

Marshall McLuhan

Vietnam presumably taught us that the United States could not serve as the world's policeman; it should also have taught us the dangers of trying to be the world's midwife to democracy when the birth is scheduled to take place under conditions of guerrilla war.     

Jeane Kirkpatrick

I deliberately did not read anything about the Vietnam War because I felt the politics of the war eclipsed what happened to the veterans. The politics were irrelevant to what this memorial was.     

Maya Lin