“50 Years Beyond: The Vietnam Veteran Experience” Profiles The Lives And Stories Of 50 Vietnam War Veterans From Throughout The Commonwealth
The Virginia War Memorial in Richmond announces the public opening of its newest major exhibit, 50 Years Beyond: The Vietnam Veteran Experience on Saturday, January 28, 2023.
The exhibit opens this month to coincide with and commemorate the 50th anniversary of the Paris Peace Accords which ended the Vietnam War in January 1973. 50 Years Beyond: The Vietnam Veteran Experience features personal stories, photos and videos of Virginia Vietnam veterans from every corner of the Commonwealth.
Dr. Clay Mountcastle, Virginia War Memorial Director, and his staff began planning for this project over a year ago. The Memorial recruited Virginia Vietnam Veterans through a series of news releases in newspapers, publications, radio and television stations and social media throughout Virginia asking them to submit stories and photos of themselves taken during their time serving in Southeast Asia.
“There are nearly 200,000 Vietnam Veterans living today in Virginia,” said Dr. Mountcastle. “We were extremely pleased when we received over 1,000 submissions from many of these veterans as a result of our outreach efforts.”
“Of those who submitted, our staff chose fifty of these men and women and contacted each of them to arrange to take a current portrait of them for the exhibit,” added Dr. Mountcastle. “The Memorial partnered with professional photographer and Navy veteran Laura Hatcher and videographer and Army veteran Pamela Vines to set up photo and recording sessions in Richmond, Hampton Roads, Roanoke and Northern Virginia.”
“Virginia is proudly home to almost 700,000 military veterans and a great many of them served during the Vietnam War,” said Daniel Gade, Commissioner of the Virginia Department of Veterans Services (DVS). “This war touched not only those that served but also their families and friends during the conflict. These photos and video recollections truly comprise a compelling, emotional, educational and very personal exhibit that will be of interest to all who come visit the Memorial over the next year.”
The Virginia War Memorial is located at 621 South Belvidere Street in downtown Richmond. As with all exhibits at the Memorial, there is no admission charge to experience 50 Years Beyond: The Vietnam Veteran Experience. Parking is also free. The Memorial’s Paul and Phyllis Galanti Education Center and C. Kenneth Wright Pavilion are open Monday through Saturday from 9 a.m. – 4 p.m. and Sunday from 12 noon to 4 p.m. The Shrines of Memory and grounds are open daily from dawn to dusk. For more information, please visit www.dvs.virginia.gov or www.vawarmemorial.org or telephone 804.786.2060.