In 1945 the late Harvey Ewing was a 21-year-old tail gunner in a torpedo bomber in the South Pacific.


Charles Grey

Martha’s Vineyard endured a precarious existence in those heady days of the young republic. As the founding fathers debated the philosophical underpinnings of liberal democracy in Philadelphia, entire British and Hessian fleets skulked just over our horizon (as reported by contemporary whalers). The vulnerable and largely defenseless Island was caught in limbo and few natives ventured to offend the Crown. As the war drew on, though, and these specters increasingly emerged in Vineyard harbors to exact their punishing toll, Islanders became patriots.


These are the voices of an Island in a nation at war:

"I don't think we had much choice." - Charles Felder, manager of the Vineyard Haven Yacht Club.

"I honestly don't know of anyone who is supportive or ready for this." - Annelies Spykman, employee at Mocha Motts in Oak Bluffs.

"They should just go in there and take care of business. They let [Saddam Hussein] go the first time, and I think that was a mistake." - Craig Tankard of Oak Bluffs, at the Vineyard Haven A&P.


For the sheep grazing in pastures above Vineyard Sound, the patches of weathered canvas beating toward Holmes Hole were barely worth a glance away from meals of September grass. Farmers, townspeople and public officials, however, greeted the approach of some four dozen English-flagged vessels with a bit more alarm.


They went to the wall together and cried.
“It was like going to meet a friend...and finally saying goodbye.”
Henry Decoteau of Vineyard Haven was a career man in the Air Force, not a fellow familiar with tears. But when he and his wife Bette traveled to Washington last week to be part of the National Salute to Viet Nam Veterans, the weight of emotion was almost too much.


A wide spectrum of opinion on the knotty topic, Which Way in Vietnam?, was brought to light at a forum on Monday evening at the Tisbury town hall. The forum was sponsored by the Island Turn Toward Peace organization, and ws led by Robert Gussner, Unitarian-Universalist minister of Stoughton.