Sunday, March 29 marks National Vietnam War Veterans Day, which is designated as part of a national effort to recognize the men and women who were denied a proper welcome upon returning home more than 40 years ago. The public can honor and commemorate the sacrifices of Vietnam veterans and their families on that day with the National Vietnam Veterans Day Ceremony at the Museum and Memorial.
The ceremony at 2 p.m. on Sunday, March 29 features a pair of keynote addresses from Captain Charlie Plumb (retired) and Dr. Vien Doan. An F-4 pilot, Plumb flew 74 combat missions in Vietnam before being shot down five days before he was to return home. He spent 2,103 days as a prisoner of war before eventually retiring following a 28-year career in the Navy. After the fall of Saigon in 1975, Doan’s family was rescued by the U.S. Navy’s 7th Fleet before relocating to Des Moines, Iowa. A practicing family physician for more than 30 years, Doan oversees the Good Samaritan Medical Dental Ministry, the largest medical mission to Vietnam. In addition to the ceremony, the Military Vehicle Preservation Association and the Vietnam Veterans of America Chapter #243 will also be displaying several Vietnam War-era vehicles on the Southeast Lawn from 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. These events are offered in conjunction with The Vietnam War: 1945-1975, a traveling exhibition from the New-York Historical Society open through May 31.The Museum and Memorial will also offer free entrance to this exhibition to the public on Friday, March 27 from 5-7 p.m. as part of the Final Friday series.
Image: Vietnam Memorial, Washington, D.C. and Native American war bonnets at Ton-Kon-Gah ceremonial. (See credits below)
Chapman University Professor Gregory Daddis is presenting a pair of programs surrounding the evolution of American masculinity seen in Cold War-era literature. On Thursday, March 19 at 6:30 p.m. Daddis discusses Cold War-era magazines such as Man’s Conquest and Adventure Life and the dynamic relationship between masculinity and war in both 2020, and 50 years ago in Pulp Vietnam: War and Gender in Men’s Adventure Magazines. On Friday, March 20 at 6 p.m., Daddis leads the discussion, Modern Masculinity, which looks at a shift in our culture’s values and frames the idea of masculinity in a contemporary context.
The Smithsonian-produced exhibition Patriot Nations: Native Americans in Our Nation’s Armed Forces will make its final stop when it comes to the Museum and Memorial. The Patriot Nations: Exhibit Reception on Thursday, March 26 starting at 6 p.m. offers the opportunity to learn about the United States military service by American Indian and Alaska Native men and women. This event is in partnership with the Missouri Humanities Council and includes a reception from 6-6:45 p.m. as well as a panel discussion from 6:45 to 8 p.m. Attendees are asked to bring a canned good or non-perishable item in the spirit of reciprocity. On Saturday, March 28 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. the Museum and Memorial will give people another opportunity to tour the Patriot Nations exhibition with Patriot Nations Family Day where family-friendly activities will be provided.
Other events in March include Etched in Memory Tour, which showcases etchings of major cultural sites throughout Northern France and Belgium during WWI (March 1, 2 p.m.); Day in the Life: Gas Warfare where Living Historians explore the detection, protection and use of gas (March 8, 10 a.m.); Museum Insider: How It’s Made with Stacie Petersen (March 12, 6:30 p.m.) Hands-on History, offered every Saturday for guests to view and handle WWI artifacts (March 7, 14, 21, 28; 11 a.m.); Modernist Happy Hour (March 26, 5:30 p.m.)
The National WWI Museum and Memorial holds the most comprehensive collection of World War I objects and documents in the world and is the second- oldest- public museum dedicated to preserving the object, history and personal experiences of the war.
March National WWI Museum and Memorial Events
• Every Thursday, 1:30 p.m.: Complimentary Tour (FREE with paid admission)
• Every Saturday, 11 a.m.: Hands-on History (FREE to the public)
• Sunday, March 1, 2 p.m.: Etched in Memory Tour (FREE with RSVP)
• Sunday, March 1, 2 p.m.: Mid-America Freedom Band: Tolkien and the Great War (FREE with RSVP)
• Sunday, March 8, 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.: Day in the Life: Gas Warfare (FREE to the public)
• Thursday, March 12, 6:30 p.m.: Museum Insider: How It’s Made with Stacie Petersen (FREE with RSVP, members only)
• Thursday, March 19. 6:30 p.m.: Pulp Vietnam: War and Gender in Men’s Adventure Magazines (FREE with RSVP)
• Friday, March 20. 6 p.m.: Modern Masculinity (FREE with RSVP)
• Thursday, March 26, 5:30 p.m.: Modernist Happy Hour (FREE to the public)
• Thursday, March 26, 6 p.m.: Patriot Nations: Exhibit Reception (FREE with RSVP)
• Friday, March 27, 5-7 p.m.: Final Friday: Free Access to The Vietnam War: 1945-1975 (FREE to the public)
• Saturday, March 28, 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.: Patriot Nations Family Day (FREE to the public)
• Sunday, March 29, 10 a.m. – 4 p.m.: Vietnam War Military Vehicle Display (FREE to the public)
• Sunday, March 29, 2 p.m.: National Vietnam Veterans Day Ceremony (FREE with RSVP)
About the National WWI Museum and Memorial
The National WWI Museum and Memorial is America’s leading institution dedicated to remembering, interpreting and understanding the Great War and its enduring impacts on the global community. The Museum and Memorial holds the most comprehensive collection of World War I objects and documents in the world and is the second-oldest public museum dedicated to preserving the objects, history and experiences of the war. The Museum and Memorial takes visitors of all ages on an epic journey through a transformative period and shares deeply personal stories of courage, honor, patriotism and sacrifice. Designated by Congress as America’s official World War I Museum and Memorial and located in downtown Kansas City, MO., the National WWI Museum and Memorial inspires thought, dialogue and learning to make the experiences of the Great War era meaningful and relevant for present and future generations. To learn more, visit theworldwar.org.
(Content: The National World War 1 Museum and Memorial.
Images: Highsmith, C. M., photographer. (2006) Memorial Day, Vietnam Memorial, Washington, D.C. District of Columbia United States Washington D.C. Washington D.C, 2006. [Photograph] Retrieved from the Library of Congress, https://www.loc.gov/item/2010630875/. Patriot Nations: Native Americans in Our Nation's Armed Forces - War bonnets adorn uniform jackets at a Ton-Kon-Gah (Kiowa Black Leggings Warrior Society) ceremonial near Anadarko, Oklahoma, 2006. Photo, Smithsonian National Museum of the American Indian.)