Requiem for David Nussberg

Vietnam War

b. traven is TCP’s co-founder.  He is a 93-year-old WW II veteran, who is now a wine grape farmer finding peace in tending to his vines. Traven received  a graduate degree in Physiological Psychology from the University of Chicago after the War.  He has been a union steel worker, a “soda jerk” when they still had those, a market researcher, and head of a national marketing consulting firm.  He was raised in an orphan home after his father died when he was 12.  He has also served as an “expert on mission” for the United Nations Industrial Development Organization in South Korea, Chile, Jamaica, and Morocco with AIDO ,the Arab Industrial Development organization. He is dismayed that his country is moving faster backward than forward with these incessant and unnecessary wars.  He is sad for those young men who have been psychologically damaged by our wars of choice and those who choose suicide. – Ed.

b. traven

Do you remember the lyrics and melodies to songs? They often pop into my consciousness from out of nowhere and sometimes linger for weeks.

Bobby Shafto’s gone to sea

Pretty Bobby Shafto

He’ll come back and marry me,

Pretty Bobby Shafto

That song has been running around in my brain for the last month or two. I think it was an old English ditty. Where did I learn it?  I cannot remember but think I learned it in elementary school and it always left me with a sad feeling that Bobby Shafto would never return from sea.

That sense of sadness from the song has lingered in my brain for the last few months. Yesterday I woke up and thought sadly of ‘pretty’ David Nussberg who was just a child and went off fifty years ago to Vietnam and never came back. Pretty David was just a child of close friends and I thought that all that remains of David is his name carved into granite on the memorial wall.

I woke up thinking that someone had just told me that they saw David’s name on the memorial. But that couldn’t be since all the people who might have known pretty David are dead, maybe even his family. How sad David’s family was. His father was a university professor and his mother a nurse. We met David when he  and his family were at Circle Pines summer camp when David was only about ten years old and our  families stayed in touch for several years even, after his father got a position in another state.

Tears came to my eyes as I realized that pretty David is just a name carved in granite today and his very young life was snuffed out in such a foolish venture. Was he killed when he was only 18 or did he last until 19? Pretty David never came back to marry anyone.

Why do we have these interminable wars that have destroyed so many lives and left our nation divided and in disarray?

2 thoughts on “Requiem for David Nussberg

  1. Hard to pull anything positive out of such sad thoughts. Such grief can become overwhelming. However, anger seems to be a more useful follow up response as anger is often a great motivator to create change. Every revolution came out both feelings but the anger is what got people moving forward, including our Revolution which our history books assures us was moral and justified. And here we are today, the wealthiest, most powerful (maybe) nation in the world, but also the one with the sickest people, the highest % of people in prison, and the so-called brilliance of capitalism to figure out how to destroy so many lives for fun and profit! I think the level of moral righteousness and anger is reaching, once again, a tipping point. I sure hope so as there will never be a commemorative wall of names for all the people destroyed by racism and sexism and classism here at home.

    • Thank you Tamarque. There will be massive social unrest as our economy collapses under the relentless military expenditures and the repression of protest. Not a pretty picture for our once great “beacon for democracy”..

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