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tv   Vietnam Veterans Memorial Collection  CSPAN  August 25, 2016 5:13pm-5:44pm EDT

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buses. while there were not any major protests or disruption here in topeka, there were on a much national level and those were extreme levi lent and bloody and costly to the united states. so to imagine what it must be like to be a 16-year-old goirl boy or girl to be confronted by a mom. it is one of the most diseral here. one of the things that we are here to do is help engage in dialogues of these k-9s inds of issues. better access and equal access to civil rights. the mission is to preserve our
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heritage. we preserve those pieces of our heritage even if they are difficult story to tell like segregation that visitors whether they are from the u.s. or abroad or caucasian or african-americans. you better understand the stories where they are standing in place where these echt happens. you can feel the history resonating by being in this american history. we feature historic sites and national parks from c-span and city tours. check out this website. you are watching c-span 3 only
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on c-span 3 tv. the vietnam veteran includes an estimated of 400,000 items left at the memorial since it opened 1982. the collection were stored in these new boxes. next, we visit the resources so see if tli any items left booind behind. i work for the vietnam collection which is housed here. the building overall, but, housing collections specifically and housed entirely in this building. we are watching objects that are left in the medicmorial dc. >> visitors come from the memorial everyday which are park
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rangers collect. then every two weeks or so. we do a pick up at the memorial would bring them out here where we sort through them and catalog them and become apart of our reflection. so i chosen some objects to show you from the collection. it covers the range of topics of the selection interprets. including mothers and fathers during the war or lost children and the war. >> so this is the wall in the 90s. this is actually apart of the door that was in this men's corporal when he was hen in high school or so. the note right here is from his brother. he drew this on his store when
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he was still at home and depicts of a serviceman crouching over a body owe f a dead soldier. >> although he drew it own name on the dog tags of the death so soldie soldiers. her mother dead not think it was cool so she made him arrest it. >> soon after he went to vietnam and he was killed in action. his brother cut this out of the door and brought it to all after he wrote michael's name on the dog tags. so he left it at the wall for his brother. if you can get a close up of this. it is a really good letter. it tells the same story.
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big brother, you never made it home so i brought a picture for you. i know you put your name in the dog tags and mommy erased it. you seem so old to me when you went to waum, i remember the things we did together of the motorcycle ride. i want to thank you watching out for me. these are some of the objects that we selected for potentially going onto the ronald reagan library. we have done some election selections for that, we are waiting for final approval. this one specifically is a good example of something left from the mother to a son. this was left on veterans' day
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in 982. it was left by her son. >> he was skilled in action in vietnam. >> this was specifically when he thinks, it was from '83 but this one mentions her diarrhea that she wrote. tl day she was there and the wall was dedicated and she describes seeing his name on the wall for the first time and know washingtoning up to the wall and seeing his name and what he felt, seeing his name but also looking at lhis name and seeing all the people around here who also truch thank you very muched
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their loved ones. >> on a poster board for at least 10 or 15 years for her son. she would doll it on his birthday and the day he highs and bore's day and veterans day and christmas and easter and things like that. the day. we started washingtoning towards the ground. ilk fe i can feel the tarp. my feet did not want to move. i was afraid that i would find her name on the block walls and some mistakes had been made and your name had been lafayette out. >> i will never forget about the
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day your father and i started to look at your name. harpoonty, hear reis, as i long to where his hand was touching the blackball, i saw your name. william r stocks. my heart seems to stop. it was a bad dream. i felt as though i was freezing. god, how it hurt. >> i llc, limited liability company around auld tll the peo. thesis thousands and thousands of names. >> the question started unexpectedly in 1982. people started leaving things. right from the dedication people were living things at the memorial for their loved ones and those who came back and outlined wounded in action. it was an unexpected phenomenon
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that kiend of sprung up out of nowhere. the park service were not sure of what to do of things were being left at the mall. no one had seen or mig anything like that happened before. for the first time year, gay thanksgiving day kept the to jbt and trying to figure out what to to do with this echlt object. >> so after 1984, it became an official collection and we started to collecting things regularly and we have been doing it ever since.
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it was made out of plastics and they stored all the objects. this was a letter left for a meeting, gary from brits the letter describes gary and brits' interaction in vietnam? apparently, he never knew what time it was even though he was a video operator and could call into ask for the time line. gary would tell him and he also lost his can opener here. he would always have to use gary's can opener. and gary was killed after
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explosive device that detonated near him and leonard describes how brits held him in his arms as he grew cold and would not let him go. finally, in 1989, he decided to leave his watch and his can opener it was gary ljenks. this was left on veterans' day of 1982. it was a ten years anniversary. it was left by john sparks who was prisoner of war for five years in vietnam. he has done oral history. if you ever want to go to their history project, you can hear about their experience of war.
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he left this. the tie is from his prison. the notice saying he's dedicating his plaque to all the men that's missing in action. a lot of time veterans if they want to come see the things that they left, we are always willing to give them a tour and show them around and helps us because we can connect specific names and donors to what they left. we have a big barrel that was left. i am too young to know what it
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was. in vietnam, they used it. an important soldier was given the duty of burning it. it was one of the worst jobs you can have. they came and they gave us a little bit of context about what it was and when they left it and why. so it is really cool. so there is some donors who are active and want to see the things that they left. you maybe wondering why we have this in our collection. toilet paper was a good goal in vietnam because if you are out in the field and you didn't have any toilet paper, you had to make do of something else less desirable. we get little rolls of toilet paper, we -- vietnam veterans,
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once they see toilet paper in the context, they know what it is left for. this one was left with this little note, it says the jungle won't wash off, the sounds and the smells like the waves that come and go in the ocean of my mind. it is left in 1982. these two are the dedication of the women's memorial. it is dedicated to all the women who served and died in vietnam. you don't often talk about women of the war. there are actually eight women's names on the memorial. there are at least 60 women who died in vietnam. they did not get their names on the memorial because they were not enlisted in the military. these are two photographs of
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donut dollies. who are essentially american red cross volunteers. and those are the other six women who died from volunteers. often were nurses in vietnam. they staffed the field hospitals. these two are dedicated to the voices of cameron. it lists the ladies of the american red cross. they were there from november 1971 to january 1972. this object was left on june 4th, 1982. 365 days is the standard tour that veterans serve in vietnam.
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we don't have any other information about this, no notes or anything. i assume that he's counting the days that he had to serve in vietnam. it is titled the lo"the long ro home." on the bottom it says "my vietnam holiday." as he's crossing off the days, he would put information of what 260th day was. his 269th day was christmas. when he was in the house for these days and his first anniversary, we don't know of what. he did not describe bha the anniversary is. it has some other interesting days here, the 4th of july.
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his 62nd day, man has lanned on the moon and his last five days. here he says caution, "vietnam maybe hazardous to your health." this is what we see often and we get a lot of things where people had 30 days or left in vietnam. the park service is guided by certain rules, you know organic act that kind of -- they set the
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bases for collections in our nation. for us, our collection is guided by a specific collection statement. and that dictates exactly what we keep for the collection and what we are interested and our themes and what we are interested in interpreting for our collection and what falls in our parameters and what and shows us what does not fall in the parameters of the collection. right here we do what we call processing of sort of sorting through them and left by the same person or the same group of people. that includes organic items like flowers and leaves and you know stuff that should not become apart of it. food. we don't keep things that are
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hazardous to our health obviously. that would include things like ammunition and stuff like that. we don't keep unaltered or unpersonalized things or united flags or miniature flags. once we process it, we put them in our standard containers, bags and folders and stuff like that, boxes. then it gets cataloged in our cataloging database then if we can use the object for interpretation or exhibits or loans or things like that. >> this is an example of a box that has been cataloged. everything is in our database. we could look up an object by its catalog number which we see right here. this is the number which tells us when we receive it and it is
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important to know when we took property of it essentially. and, as you can see they're nicely folded and they have tags that'll associate with them if we have to take it out the bag. we know what catalog number it is. we tie up nicely of the american flag and we put in our a archiv archival objects. if i need to look at something, i can look at it and it will tell me where the object is and i go to that box. this box is all -- it is all left around the same time.
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we organize everything when it was left. this box, i think it is from around the ten years anniversary. it was november of 1992, maybe around christmas time which is why you would see these ribbons. >> so the oldest box in here would be 1984. >> we have four boxes from the two year periods of 1982 to 1984 when they were just initially collecting things and this is one of them right here. you can see it is a lot of same types of things for the other box and it is the same type of things that's being left today. we have a lot of patches and pins. badges of all kinds, religious
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items, we have a lot of newspaper clippings. we call documentary artifacts. the largest category of objects that are left, paper objects essentially. letters and notes and poems and clippings and greeting cards and business cards, things like that. you get a lot of flags it was left by ellen by barry bausch. i am going to read it. it is been 31 years since you have been taken away from me.
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you remained in my heart. as i visit the memorial today in washington dc, i leave with you the ring i gave to you on your 18th birthday. always know that i love you still. i am married and have three beautiful children and laura, named after your sister and blake and rena. we were never given the chance to have a family. when the lord takes me home, i know i will meet you again and share many memories. so this letter and the trophy were left on october 30th, 1988 for joseph craig peters. i believe it was by his son. there is a trophy on the back says "with all my love, christmas 1999, dad." i am assuming that his dad gave
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to his son. the note says were you afraid, to be brave again for those who have been brave for us and those who will yet defend on us. it is a beautiful day. if we were playing golf, i would be beating you by two strokes. sucker. >> it has a peace pendant on it. we have to infer background information on this. we don't know -- this notice all that we have. this harmonica and the note was left october 10th, 1995. it was in an envelope addressed by gary thomas.
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it says "dear brother, ever since you have been killed i have been blowing the blues. all that you left behind is here. i miss you daily, brother bob. this was left on the wall on august 9th, 1989. they are honoring three deaths. on the back he wrote what he knew of the men. and one he named, his name is robert solial and another he called the new guy and another he called mr. point. i can look up the names.
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mr. solial was killed december 16th, 1987. if i were looking at people who died on the same day, i found out that the other two men are probably william pearson who was a new guy and eddie lee jackson. the one fifth marines gave the reasons for their deaths. squad patrol was hit by a booby trap considered two or three artillery rounds. the incident resulted in one kill in action and six wounded in action. two of the men obviously later died and the new guy mr. pearson, he had been in vietnam for just 24 days.
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so both of these were left in august of 1986. i assume they were from the same women although it was touched on the same topic. one, she was describing how she was a nurse in vietnam. she signed it lieutenant nurse baker. and the other one talking about her husband and she signed it dana. one where he was a nurse that starts off. i went to vietnam to heal and came home wounded. i am still awaken from nightmares that of those who wed not save. i went to vietnam to heal and discovered i am not done. the other one she talks about her husband tom. we would have been married 21 years this year. they got married when he was on
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leave in san diego. i assume they both went back to the war where he was killed. they were married for a short time. she leaves this letter in honor of him 21 years later. we have similar objects left, a lot of poems and cards and notes like that. this one was left this past july. it was spectacular i thought. it was 13 letters and they were written by this young man, his name is james arbuthnot. it was addressed to his potential girlfriend back at
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home. there were letters from basic training. he was in listed -- well, i think he joined voluntarily and not drafted. jim went to vietnam in early 1966, he learned quickly that he had only served five months. some previous experience or work being done. so he's very excited to get home and maybe get to know patricia a little bit better who he just met before he wasn't to vietnam. so his letters kind of shows him putting his feelings out and trying to get to know her personality and also shows the type of things he's experiencing in vietnam just like going there for the first time. all these manner around him.
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he continues to send her letters until he was killed in march of 1966, he was only there for two months of his five months tour before he was killed. so his last letter to patricia was dated 24th of march 1966, he was killed on march 30th. the last thing he ever wrote to her was it won't belong now, signed jim. i feel the purpose of a collection is to help people, the purpose of the wall is to help people heal to get over things that happened to them in the past and to remember specifically the men who died in


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