A Vietnam Commemorative Program on April 30, 2017


Linda VanZandt, award-winning oral historian recently relocated to Albuquerque, is excited to partner with the Museum of the American Military Family & Learning Center, to bring her multimedia Vietnam War exhibit to the museum (546B State Hwy 333, Tijeras, NM 87059) on April 30 from 1:30-5:00 p.m. The exhibit features sound portraits of Vietnamese Americans living on the Northern Gulf Coast of Mississippi and New Orleans – former allies of U.S. veterans and children of war, “boat people” who risked everything fleeing their homeland after the fall of Saigon on April 30, 1975, a date they commemorate as Black April.

While accompanying several American veterans on a trip back to South Vietnam in 2003, VanZandt witnessed first-hand the healing power of veterans and former allies meeting to share stories, some on the same battlefields where they fought.

After returning to her work at the Center for Oral History and Cultural Heritage at The University of Southern Mississippi, VanZandt recorded more than forty Vietnamese-Americans’ stories of life in Vietnam, war, escape, and resettlement in America. VanZandt now shares a selection of these very personal and moving photos and excerpted audio stories publicly in an effort to give voice to the Vietnamese perspective of a history rarely heard.The Museum of the American Military Family & Learning Center, a Vietnam War Commemorative Partner, recently published its first anthology From the Homefront to the Front Lines, New Mexicans Reflect on War. Several contributing authors—all Vietnam War veterans–will be on hand to read excerpts and poetry from the anthology.

We hope you will join us in a special afternoon of sharing stories and live music from the times, original spoken poetry from local veterans, origami-making for peace, and much more. We will be podcasting during the event and will be inviting Vietnam veterans—and their families—to record their stories. The museum is also soliciting written stories for its upcoming anthology, War Child: Lessons Learned From Growing Up in War.

This event is made possible, in part, from the New Mexico Humanities Council, Sound Seed Productions (www.soundseedproductions.com), and the Museum of the American Military Family (MAMF). Linda VanZandt can be reached at (601) 408-8766 and lindavanzandt@gmail.com. For more information about the event, please contact Dr. Circe Olson Woessner, Director, MAMF at (505) 504-6830 or by email at militaryfamilymuseum@comcast.net

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