Memorial Day is the one day each year set aside to remember and commemorate and celebrate the sacrifices of thousands of men and women who have died in war over the years.
But of course, their deaths carry a long and wide ripple effect that can affect family members for years and generations to come.
Since opening more than 40 years ago, the Vietnam Veterans memorial in Washington DC has become an informal but significant collection point for memorabilia. Families of the fallen in Vietnam come to the wall to leave behind everything from letters and poems to medals and teddy bears.
In 1988, former Vietnam war correspondent Laura Palmer wrote a book about those items of memorabilia. She tracked down many of the families and interviewed them to get a broader sense of their loss. She ccalled her book Shrapnel in The Heart.
So here now, from 1988, my interview with Laura Palmer.
Larry Flynt is best known for Hustler magazine, which he founded in the mid-1970s, and for the videos and cable TV channels the grew out of the Hustler brand.
But it turns out Larry Flynt was also an amateur student of history.
Ten years ago, fFlynt and a professional historian co-authored a book called “One Nation Under Ssex: How the Private Lives of Presidents, First Ladies, and Their Lovers Change the Course of American History.
For three weeks in October 2002, the Washington DC area was terrorized by a series of sniper attacks. Someone was randomly shooting and killing people throughout the district, and the Maryland and Virginia suburbs.
Piecing together scant eyewitness Clues, police began searching for the gunman, and ultimately found, and arrested, 41 year old John Allen Muhammad and 17 year old Lee Boyd Malvo.
Both were eventually convicted, and John Allen Muhammad was sentenced to death.
In the fall of 2009, I met Muhammad’s wife, Mildred. Muhammad had planned to kill her, in a custody dispute over their children, and make her death appear to be one of the series of random sniper killings.
So here now, from 2009, Mildred Muhammad.
John Allen Muhammad was executed just a few weeks after my conversation with Mildred Muhammad. Lee Boyd Malvo is appealing his multiple life sentences without parole, but is likely to spend the rest of his life Behind Bars.
Mildred Muhammad continues to advocate for women in abusive situations.
Art Buchwald may be the first modern-day American journalist to be accused of producing “fake news.” After he wrote a satirical piece about President Dwight Eisenhower’s breakfast habits, Ike’s press secretary actually held a news conference to denounce Buchwald’s column and offer the real facts about the President’s breakfasts.
For decades to follow, Art Buchwald wrote about Washington politics, but also daily life in America, but always with a sharp satirical wit.
I interviewed him several times, including the interview you’re about to hear, from 1991, when
America was still in the recession that started in 1987, when Anita Hill and Iran-Contra were still fresh in everyone’s mind, and the “George Bush” he’s talking about is George H.W. Bush.
Here now, Art Buchwald, from 1991:
The last time I talked with Art Buchwald was in 2005 — he died a little over a year later, at age 81.