|The interior of the Fort Dix Coffee House in Wrightstown, New Jersey before it was bombed and closed. — File photo courtesy of the organiser
HCM CITY — A special exhibition titled “Waging Peace – US Soldiers and Veterans Who Opposed America’s War in Việt Nam” opened on Monday at the HCM City War Remnants Museum.
The one-month-long event is organised by the museum in cooperation with HCM City Union of Friendship Organisations (HUFO), HCM City Peace and Development Foundation (HPDF), and the Việt Nam Veterans for Peace Organisation (VFP).
On display are nearly 80 photos, posters and articles about American soldiers and veterans who participated in the antiwar movement from 1968, demanding an end to the war and peace for Việt Nam.
Ron Carver, associate fellow for the Institute for Policy Studies and the exhibition’s curator, took more than a year to collect all the articles for the exhibition.
He began the exhibition’s preparation in October 2016, after meeting Huỳnh Ngọc Vân, current director of the War Remnants Museum, who asked him to do the work.
“It was very difficult,” Carver said. “People can come and see this and will find out a piece of history that they never knew. That will be true not just in Việt Nam, but when we bring it to the US.”
Highlights are copies of underground newspapers published by and for active duty soldiers on military bases and ships, which expressed the voices of several thousands of working-class soldiers and junior officers who spoke out against the war and against injustices and racism within the military.
The exhibition also showcases photos of GI anti-war coffee houses located outside dozens of major military installations throughout the US, which were opened for soldiers to meet, enjoy cultural programmes and produce their newspapers.
On display include photos of American solidiers’ participation in the antiwar movement such as signing petitions, organising marches, deserting to other countries, and refusing orders to deploy to Việt Nam.
Nguyễn Thị Thanh Thúy, deputy director of the HCM City Department of Culture and Sports, said at the opening ceremony: “We do hope that this exhibition will be warmly welcomed by visitors. We hope that it not only marks a milestone in close cooperation between the museum, HUFO, HBDF and VFP, but also contributes to further strengthening and deepening the friendly ties between Vietnamese and Americans,” she said.
According to Carver, all the exhibits will be given to the museum after the exhibition.
A website on the exhibition www.wagingpeaceinvietnam.com was activated on Monday.
The event will go on until April 15. The museum is located at 28 Võ Văn Tần Street in District 3. — VNS