Here’s a piece of the new For The Sender book, in honor of the birthday of a man who voiced his support of our troops in Vietnam but spoke out against sending them into harm’s way. He died in 1968, one of the most tumultuous years in our history and also the year in which these #lovelettersfromvietnam were sent:

And one year to the day after he declares “if America’s soul becomes totally poisoned, part of the autopsy must read Vietnam” from the pulpit of the Riverside Church, a single bullet pierces his cheek as he stands in the early spring Memphis twilight outside room 306 of the Lorraine Hotel. In time he will reappear as Columba, the constellation of the dove and peace in the southern April sky, and continue to inspire a nation to follow his dream.