The Vietnam War is a complex conflict that five decades later can still divide us or can offer lessons of reconciliation. It was a confrontation with no clear beginning or end. It was a war filled with victories and critical defeats. It was a battle of will in the field and in the political arena. Its impacts are still tangible today and the necessity of the sacrifice of millions is an enduring debate.
Vietnam: At War and At Home at Soldiers Memorial Military Museum, the story of the war’s origins, execution, conclusion, and legacy will be presented in engaging, accessible, and evocative ways. The exhibit will present a diverse and holistic snapshot of the turbulent times in Vietnam, in America, and in the St. Louis region. Visitors will be able to learn about the military experience of the hundreds of thousands of members of the US Armed Forces who would be deployed around the globe as well as those who served closer to home. The concerns and actions of those who opposed the war will be explored with an emphasis on what was happening locally. The process and consequences of the draft and the legacy of refugees who fled a war zone and settled in our community will also be profiled.
This exhibit will shed light, encourage discussion, and spark discoveries about an increasingly unpopular war and the journey of return and recovery for the men and women who fought it. Through authentic objects, arresting images, engaging film, meaningful music, powerful prose and first-hand accounts, visitors will gain new insights into one of America’s most challenging eras.