National Archives Foundation Launches Veteran Recognition Campaign, Part of Multi-Year Commemoration of the Vietnam War

The National Archives Foundation today launched “A Grateful Nation Honors Veterans for their Service, Valor, & Sacrifice,” a campaign to honor veterans of the Vietnam War in support of the National Archives’ new exhibition, Remembering Vietnam: Twelve Critical Episodes in the Vietnam War, opening November 10, 2017.

“Nearly fifty years have passed since the height of U.S. involvement in the Vietnam War, yet for those who experienced the war firsthand, their memory of that period in our country’s history is still vivid,” said Patrick M. Madden, executive director of the National Archives Foundation, the independent, nonprofit partner of the National Archives. “For many Americans, the Vietnam War is an unfamiliar and complex conflict sliding further into the shadows of history every day. ‘A Grateful Nation Honors Veterans for their Service, Valor, & Sacrifice’ gives us an opportunity to give back to the service members who sacrificed for this country, and a tangible way for them to be part of the living history this exhibit will bring to more than one million visitors.”

In the first major exhibition on the war in the Archives’ history, Remembering Vietnam uses original documents, artifacts, and film footage to explore the policies and decisions that initiated and then escalated American economic and military aid to South Vietnam. Interviews with veterans, journalists, members of the peace movement, Vietnamese civilians, and leading Vietnam War historians provide first-person testimony and analysis of the events.

As a proud Commemorative Partner of the Vietnam War Commemoration, the Foundation has launched “A Grateful Nation Honors Veterans for their Service, Valor, & Sacrifice,” to encourage service members and their families to become part of the exhibit. The nationwide campaign seeks to spotlight the more than nine million service members who served during the Vietnam War, and to honor their commitment and sacrifice. With a $50 donation to support the Remembering Vietnam exhibit and access to military records at the National Archives, the donor’s name (or that of a service member they wish to honor) will be included in the exhibit and online on the Donor Wall of Honor.

Operation MacArthur, Vietnam War.
Operation MacArthur, Vietnam War.

Remembering Vietnam is free and open to the public, and will be on display in the Lawrence F. O’Brien Gallery of the National Archives Museum in Washington, DC, through January 6, 2019. Presented in part by the Lawrence F. O’Brien Family, Pritzker Military Museum & Library, AARP, FedEx Corporation, and the National Archives Foundation. Additional support provided by the Maris S. Cuneo Foundation, The Eliasberg Family Foundation, Inc., and HISTORYⓇ.

The Remembering Vietnam initiative developed by the National Archives is composed of not only the exhibition presented at its iconic home in Washington, D.C., but also a two-year traveling exhibition of Vietnam War photography, a virtual reality exhibition tour, public programs and document exhibits at Presidential Libraries around the country, honor flights for Vietnam Veterans to visit the Washington, DC exhibition, an online web presence for the initiative, education materials for teachers and students, and special events for veterans, military families and the public.

Earlier this month, the National Archives Foundation announced an honorary committee that includes government leaders, distinguished military, and renowned historians, to support Remembering Vietnam.