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Remembering the Vietnam War: A Community Discussion

Remembering the Vietnam War: A Community Discussion

The Fredericksburg Branch is hosting a panel of community members who will share their experiences from the Vietnam War era on Thursday, November 30, at 7:00. As combatants or civilians, these first-hand witnesses to the war itself or to the climate at home will explore how Vietnam was understood in the 1960s and 1970s and is understood today. Invited panelists are a diverse group, including men, women, American veterans, Vietnamese, and anti-war activists. They are:  Shelley Freitag, Tina Norkus, Bruce H. "Doc" Norton, Michael Steele, and Clint Van Zandt. Our moderator will be former Free Lance-Star editor Ed Jones.  

This event is offered as part of a grant from the American Library Association, PBS and WETA Washington, D.C. in support of the new documentary, The Vietnam War. This 10-part film from Ken Burns and Lynn Novick tells “the epic story of the Vietnam War as it has never before been told on film. Visceral and immersive, the series explores the human dimensions of the war through revelatory testimony of nearly 80 witnesses from all sides….Ten years in the making, the series includes re-mastered archival footage from sources around the globe, photographs taken by some of the most celebrated photojournalists of the 20th century, historic television broadcasts, evocative home movies and secret audio recordings from inside the Kennedy, Johnson and Nixon administrations….[It presents] a story with divergent perspectives...and builds its narrative around the enormous complexity of its subject and embraces as an essential part of its story the profound differences and disagreements that tore apart lives and nations.”

If you did not watch the series when it aired recently on PBS, you can borrow the DVDs from the library or read the companion book to the series by Geoffrey C. Ward, The Vietnam War: An Intimate History.  

Below are a selection of online resources to complement the series and the panel discussion:

The Vietnam War: A Film by Ken Burns and Lynn Novick (Official PBS Website)

Antiwar and Radical History Project: Vietnam

History Channel: The Vietnam War War Protests

Library of Congress Vietnam War Veterans History Project

National Archives: Researching Vietnam

Viet Stories: Vietnamese American Oral History Project