Remembering Vietnam Across the Country
May 25, 2018
As Memorial Day approaches, it’s important to honor those who have served in the armed forces and those who have made incredible sacrifices in the name of their country. It’s a time for many families to remember their loved ones and a time for all citizens to reflect on their freedoms and its costs.
At the National Archives, its special exhibit — Remembering Vietnam — has been doing just that. It not only honors those who fought the Vietnam War in particular, but also follows the overall trajectory of the U.S. involvement in the war. It explores the policies and decisions that initiated and escalated American economic and military aid to South Vietnam, during the French Indochina War and then, in what Americans call, the Vietnam War. It attempts to answer the question: Why did we go to Vietnam?
The Archives isn’t the only place honoring soldiers from the Vietnam War though. Many around Washington, DC will hear the rumble this Memorial Day Weekend as one of the Remembering Vietnam partners, Rolling Thunder and its members, remember the fallen in a series of events throughout the city. Their mission is to educate, facilitate, and never forget those service members from the Vietnam War.
Taking it On The Road
The Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund (VVMF) pursues a very similar mission. Authorized by the U.S. Congress in 1980 to build a national memorial dedicated to all who served, VVMF takes its celebration of those servicemen and servicewomen on the road. In addition to their work preserving the Memorial in Washington, DC, the VVMF proudly promotes its mobile exhibit, The Wall That Heals.
The exhibit is made up of a three-quarter scale replica of the Memorial as well as a mobile Education Center, designed to enlighten visitors about the war’s timeline, soldiers who fought, and more. The Wall That Heals is also displayed in communities across the nation. From St. Paul, MN to Weymouth, MA, you may have a chance to catch the exhibit on tour.
As the exhibit travels the country, its powerful connection to these communities and veterans allows for the chance to heal within the familiar surroundings of home. Since its dedication, The Wall That Heals has made its way through nearly 600 communities and has impacted millions by spreading the healing legacy.
Through VVMF’s inspirational work, and the dedication of many other organizations across the country, the sacrifices made by those who served in the armed forces are sure to never be forgotten.
So, as the weekend nears, Memorial Day is the perfect time to visit Remembering Vietnam at the National Archives, or to visit Arlington National Cemetery, or find one of the traveling VVMF’s exhibits. This weekend, take a minute to understand and reflect on the sacrifices made by brave Americans during the Vietnam War.
Remembering Vietnam is currently open in the National Archives’ Lawrence F. O’Brien Gallery through January 6, 2019. You can take a virtual tour here — sponsored by AARP — or learn more about the exhibit and initiative at https://www.archivesfoundation.org/vietnam/.
For more information regarding VVMF’s The Wall That Heals, visit http://www.vvmf.org/twth.