On September 1, 2017, the Community Idea Stations launched Vietnam: Virginia Remembers, in anticipation of the broadcast premiere of Ken Burns and Lynn Novick’s The Vietnam War. This 18-hour landmark documentary, 10 years in the making, airs September 17-28 and then repeats on Tuesdays through November on WCVE PBS/WHTJ PBS.
Vietnam: Virginia Remembers is a multi-media educational initiative, the biggest in our history, designed to educate our community about the Vietnam War and how it affected our neighbors and family members. Through community conversations earlier in the year and our partnerships with the Virginia War Memorial in Richmond and the Dogwood Vietnam Memorial in Charlottesville, we realized that minimal time is spent teaching about the Vietnam War in school and it’s rarely talked about by the people who were there. Consequently, there is a great lack of understanding about a War that went on for 10 years that many of us experienced and are affected by to this day. Through the power of our media and community partnerships, we hope to help our community to learn and understand--more.
Over a three month span, Vietnam: Virginia Remembers will connect Virginians across cultures, generations and perspectives through our website, social media channels, and during NPR’s Morning Edition and All Things Considered on 88.9 WCVE Public Radio.
88.9 WCVE Radio Stories Include:
- Thursday September 7: “Fighting on Two Fronts: As POWs Survived, Spouses Organized” by Charles Fishburne
- Tuesday September 12: “The War Through Round Glass: Photojournalists in Vietnam” by Phil Liles
- Thursday September 14: “From Vietnam to Virginia: Cultivating a Cultural Inheritance” by Saraya Wintersmith
- Tuesday September 19: “Richmond Activists Recount Efforts Opposing Vietnam War” by Mark Huffman
- Thursday September 21: “After Vietnam, Women Veterans Fight to Preserve Their History” by Catherine Komp
- Tuesday September 26: “Vietnam Era Music Reflected Change, Peace, Protest” by John Ogle
- Thursday September 28: “Veteran’s Survival in Vietnam Inspires Lifetime of Hope and Healing” by Catherine Komp
If you miss any of these special reports, you can listen online from the Vietnam: Virginia Remembers web page on the same day the story airs on 88.9 WCVE.
Special Panel Discussion Programs
Viewers of the documentary will be invited to stay tuned for 2 panel discussions recorded by the Community Idea Stations at the Virginia War Memorial and American Legion Post 74 in Keswick Virginia this summer. Both of these productions will be available for on-demand viewing at Vietnam: Virginia Remembers.
Beyond The Broadcast
Additionally, we are extending our efforts beyond the broadcast in the community in the following ways:
- Hundreds of history teachers in Chesterfield, Richmond and Henrico learned about resources available to teach the Vietnam War through PBS LearningMedia and saw a program screening during their professional development days at the end of August. Look for these Teacher Resources on the Vietnam: Virginia Remembers page.
- Science Pub RVA featured Dr. David Cifu with the U.S. Department of Veterans, speaking on the subject of PTSD Research and Recovery on August 28th. Read this article from Science Matters: “Vietnam Vets Still Battle PTSD, Brain Injury.”
- Mary Jo Grieve, our Ready to Learn Manager, will provide Sesame Street early learning materials specifically developed for military families to Ft. Lee pre-schools. Click here to find more PBS and PBS KIDS resources for early learners.
- Our traveling exhibit connects viewers with a variety of people from our community who experienced the Vietnam War. The exhibit begins at the Virginia Historical Society on September 1, and will travel to Fort Lee on September 18th, the James Center Tower I September 30th - October 14th, John Tyler Community College Midlothian Campus October 15th - 28th, and then the Chester Campus October 29th - November 9th, and finally Virginia State University November 10th - 30th — so keep an eye out!
- Before the broadcast premiere on September 17th, Terri Allard, host of Charlottesville Inside-Out, will have a screening for Charlottesville high school students on September 12th.
- Also on September 12th, the Community Idea Stations will host a screening for 500 members and viewers at the Virginia Historical Society. Attendees will see segments compiled from each episode of the series. Attendees will also hear from retired Brigadier General and Army Historian Jack Mountcastle and Paul Galanti from the Virginia War Memorials’ Paul and Phyllis Galanti Education Center.
- Last August, World Music host Ian Stewart attended the 10th Anniversary Latin Jazz and Salsa Festival honoring veterans.
Stay Connected and Informed
Vietnam: Virginia Remembers will be a constant source of information about a variety of ways you can watch and binge-watch the series. The page will house on-demand versions of our radio stories and panel discussions for you to experience on your own time and to share with others. You can also go there for resources in the community for Veterans, teachers, articles by experts in our community, and behind-the-scenes information about the series. You can also join the national conversation about the series at #VietnamWarPBS.
We hope that collectively through all of these efforts, you will come to understand perspectives about the Vietnam War as diverse as the Vietnamese refugees and soldiers, American Veterans, the media, and those who protested our involvement--men and women who experienced the War in very different ways.
It is our honor and privilege to use our resources for this purpose. We hope that you will watch, listen, engage, and start a conversation. This effort is dedicated to the men and women who served in the The Vietnam War. A special thanks goes to our broadcast sponsors and members--in this, and all things we do, that partnership is essential and appreciated.
Vice President, Community Engagement