Our veterans group met with Alice Kamps at the National Archives this morning. She curated a new exhibit here about the Vietnam War and she let us in the building before it was open to the public so that we might have plenty of time to see everything we wanted to.
The thing that got me the most today was a handwritten letter from a mother to President Lyndon Johnson. She references a previous letter she and her husband wrote to him, opposing the war and the reasons her son was drafted, and then in this letter, she tells the president that her son has died in the war. Johnson’s reply was also on display. It was typewritten, but had lots and lots of handwritten edits–clear indication to me that he couldn’t develop a good explanation for the death. It’s talked about in this video at the 21:00 mark.
Every person that dies in war, is a real person, and you must never forget that when you have conversations about the use of force around the world.
Washington, D.C. 12.2.2017 – 9.59am.
The National Archives exhibit is called “Remembering Vietnam.” It opened Nov 10, 2017 and will be open until Jan 6, 2019 in Washington, DC.