The Vietnam War is back in the news and is again creating tensions and divisions. The Pentagon is engaged in a 10 year public relations campaign to honor Vietnam era veterans while at the same time promoting its version of the history of the war. Public Broadcasting System is about to launch a two week documentary on The Vietnam War by Ken Burns and Lynn Novick and early indications suggest that it does not accurately nor fully represent the anti-war movement. And the National Archives will open its Vietnam War exhibit in DC in early November.
The Vietnam Peace Commemoration Committee (VPCC) was formed in 2014 with the purpose of trying to make sure that all versions and public explanations about the war are accurate, reliable and accountable. In addition, another one of its objectives is to demonstrate the power of the anti-war movement and what lessons can and must be learned for today’s US military and foreign policies. You are invited to join a significant gathering in Washington, DC, on October 20-21, to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the famous 1967 March on the Pentagon. This event is being co-sponsored by PISA from George Washington University, Historians for Peace and Democracy, Norman Mailer Society, Bulletin of Concerned Asian Scholars and Vets for Peace. You can find much more information at: www.vietnampeace.org.
On Friday evening, Oct 20, there will be a vigil at the Pentagon from 5-7 pm. Dan Ellsberg will speak and he was in the 1967 demonstration and later entered the Pentagon to go to McNamara’s office to push for an end to the war. Peter Yarrow will perform as Peter, Paul and Mary did so in 1967 as well. Later that night there is a dinner at Saigon Saigon, a nearby Vietnamese restaurant. The Pentagon is still responsible for Agent Orange, unexploded mines and devices, and the mistreatment of veterans from Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia.
On Saturday in Foggy Bottom there will be an all day conference with speakers as well as testimonials from people who were there in 1967. We will hear about the political, military and anti-war movement contexts for the 1967 demo; more about the day itself; impact of the demonstration on the on-going anti-war movement; and finally lessons and legacies for today. Speakers are still being lined up but will include Dan Ellsberg, Mike Lennon, president of the Norman Mailer Society since his “Armies of the Night,” was such an important cultural contribution, Susan Schnall from Vets for Peace and many others. Please let organizers know if you were in the 1967 action.
There is a slight registration fee which can include lunch and you will find that information available at the website. You can also follow on Facebook: https://www.
Here is the poster for the event. Your cooperation to send and forward this information to as many people and organizations as possible will be greatly appreciated.
Thank you for your support and participation. Hope to see you in DC in October.