Vietnam War: Bob Hope Christmas Special 1967 – No Words
John 15:13 New American Standard Bible (NASB)
“Greater love has no one than this, that one lay down his life for his friends”
The Vietnam War; it was the war of my generation. World War II had ended in 1945. Those military members which had served, and had survived the war, returned to their homes and began to “spawn” babies, of which I am one, “a baby boomer.” The “boomer” generation included those which were birthed during the years of 1946 through 1964. The Korean War had also come and gone, lasting from 1950 through 1953.
My hero of the Second World War was my father. He enlisted in the United States Army Air Corps and served in the Philippines and New Guinea. While in the Philippines, my father was stationed about 60 miles north of Manila. It was during the Vietnam war that I enlisted in the United States Air Force, and served in the Philippines and in Thailand. While in the Philippines, I was stationed about 60 miles north of Manila. My heroes of the Vietnam War were personal friends, two of whom did not survive the war. Randall W., of Georgia, a fourth and fifth grade baseball team member, a Marine Infantry Corporal, died in Vietnam. Jim J., of Louisiana, a tenth and eleventh grade track and field teammate, an Army Special Forces Lieutenant, died in Cambodia.
If you have noticed in the opening video, there is no singing, only the music to “Silent Night, Holy Night.” Marines in South Vietnam are shown wearing flack jackets and helmets, holding their rifles, taking off their helmets, kneeling and worshiping. A Chaplain is seen serving communion to other Marines. It is obvious that not all of those Marines that we see in the film survived the war. Many members of the active duty forces of the U.S. Army, Navy, Marine Corps, Air Force, and Coast Guard, as well as members of the Reserve and National Guard, served our country well during the Vietnam War. Not all military members were assigned to stations in Vietnam, but would have gone if they had received such assignments. During the time of the Vietnam War, military chaplains spoke freely of God, and did not hide the name of Christ, our Lord and Savior.
The Bob Hope tours of 1964-1972 took place during December of each of those years. Each show ended with the singing of “Silent Night, Holy Night,” and the words of Bob Hope, “Merry Christmas.” One of the few constants of the Vietnam War, one which was eagerly anticipated by American troops, was the annual Bob Hope Christmas Show. From 1964 to 1972, Bob Hope included South Vietnam on his annual trips to visit troops during the holiday season, a tradition that started for him during World War II. “Back in 1941, at March Field, California…I still remember fondly that first soldier audience,” Hope once said. “I looked at them, they laughed at me, and it was love at first sight.”
Consider the support that Bob Hope gave to our troops during the Vietnam War, and in other times of conflict. http://www.historynet.com/bob-hopes-vietnam-christmas-tours.htm
BY JUDITH JOHNSON 12/23/2009 • VIETNAM MAGAZINE
Bob Hope went to South Vietnam during December of each of those war years. He did not go during the months of August, September, October, or during any other month of the year, only during December. As has been stated above, each Bob Hope show ended with the singing of “Silent Night, Holy Night.” In the next video, you will notice many U.S. military troops singing “Silent Night, Holy Night.” You will also notice how the singing of that special song has such a great emotional effect on each of those war-hardened military heroes. They all sang; they all were touched by the words of the song; but, not all of them survived the Vietnam War. Decembers of the years of the Vietnam War, when Bob Hope entertained our military troops, were special months to remember for those whom survived the war. Those which did not leave Vietnam alive, may had also received special December blessings prior to their deaths. Many of the U.S. troops, which had not known Christ as their Lord and Savior, may have been drawn by God’s Holy Spirit to belief in Christ, as they sang the words to, “Silent Night, Holy Night.”
(A G.I. is a member of the armed forces, meaning “Government Issue, such as in “G.I. Bill.”)
As you see Anita Bryant singing “Silent Night, Holy Night,” consider the song; consider the troops. Notice the expressions on each face. Realize that in a war that took 58,220 American lives, that when”Silent Night, Holy Night” was sung, no one was offended. Realize also, that as you see that large audience of Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen and Marines, and those of the Coast Guard, National Guard and Reserves, that they didn’t all return home alive. Of those that did survive the war in Vietnam, you may know one, or some; please be sure to wish them a very Merry Christmas, and thank them for their service to our country. With the video filming having taken place fifty-three years ago, some of the G.I.s in the video may now be seniors in your family. A final note relates to members of foreign nations that also served their countries in the war on communism, along side of U.S. troops. Please express your thanks to those heroes, too. I specifically remember the names of many members of the Philippine Air Force whom served along side of me; they were wonderful people. A list of other Vietnam War foreign nations, friend and foe, is provided in the link below.
“Silent Night” (Live) by Anita Bryant with Bob Hope And Friends (1965) – Words
Where were you during the Christmas season of December 1972? Take a final look at the G.I.s, the professional entertainers and support personnel. I guarantee you, “hankies may be needed.”
Bob Hope’s Final Vietnam Christmas Tour – Notice that during each of Bob Hope’s Christmas Shows, the ending always came after Bob Hope said, “Merry Christmas, and God Bless You.” May that be our greeting this December’s Christmas season.
America Wasn’t the Only Foreign Power in the Vietnam War https://militaryhistorynow.com/2013/10/02/the-international-vietnam-war-the-other-world-powers-that-fought-in-south-east-asia/
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