Artifacts on Vietnam resistance war during 1945-1975 displayed in New York

Wednesday, 2017-10-11 04:25:31
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A photo of anti-US war in Vietnam protests as part of the New York exhibition. (Credit: Getty Images/via nyhistory.org)
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NDO – Over 300 items and evidence are displayed at an exhibition on the theme of the past war in Vietnam during 1945-1975, which officially opened at New York Historical Society, New York city, the US on October 10.

“The Vietnam War: 1945-1975” opening was attended by Ambassador Nguyen Phuong Nga, Head of Vietnam's Permanent Mission to the United Nations, with more than 400 delegates, including historians and activists involved in pro-Vietnam movements before or after the US war in Vietnam, and US veterans.

Speaking at the ceremony, Ambassador Nga expressed her confidence that through this significant event, viewers would understand more about the value of peace and history, thereby contributing significantly to promoting mutual understanding between Vietnam and the US.

She stressed that more than 40 years after the end of the war, the two countries have become comprehensive partners. The strong, positive developments in the two countries' relations are due to ongoing efforts aimed at closing the past, overcoming disagreements and looking towards the future, Nga affirmed.

More than 300 artifacts, photographs, artworks, documents, films, and interactive digital media help to convey the story of the war originating in World War II, when the US backed the French military to maintain its colonial rule in Indochina. The exhibition also depicts the escalation of the war, as well as its closing, with the withdrawal of US troops from Vietnam in the wake of a strong anti-war movement among American society.

Key objects include a lacquer graving named “Spring in Tay Nguyen”, created by northern Vietnamese painter Tran Huu Chat in 1962. The 84-year-old artist made an exact reproduction for the exhibition. There are also a bullpup’s bullets mounted on an F-105 bomber, a jeep used at Tan Son Nhat Air Base, and two video screens telling the story of the war. Visitors can watch videos recounting each historical period of the war.

It is noteworthy that the exhibit displays call-up letters that US youth aged 18-26 had to carry with them at the time; many of them brought out the papers to demonstrate their opposition and challenge enlistment. This opposition led to the abolition of the call up in 1973, shortly after the last American soldiers withdrew from Vietnam.

President and CEO of the New-York Historical Society, Louise Mirrer, said that it is the first time the museum had organised a separate exhibition of the Vietnam War and it took organisers three years to prepare for this event.

According to Mirrer, the war is still a controversial topic nowadays and dominates the minds of Americans in military policies and campaigns. She expressed her hope that through the exhibition, Americans and international visitors would better understand the longest armed conflict of the 20th century is still leaving its imprints on the 21st century.

The special feature of the exhibit is that visitors are encouraged to record their thoughts or voices about the war for future generations to listen to.

“The Vietnam War: 1945-1975” will be open until April 22 next year.