West Virginia University at Parkersburg will host a screening of the new WV Public Broadcasting (WVPB) documentary “Vietnam: West Virginians Remember” on Thursday, Sept. 21. The film will be followed by a panel discussion featuring Vietnam veterans and a local historian. This event is from 6 to 8 p.m. and is free and open to the public.
The one-hour documentary, written and produced by award-winning Executive Producer Suzanne Higgins, features the experiences of five West Virginia combat servicemen. Per capita, West Virginians served the most and died the most in Vietnam. The war lives on as America’s most controversial – with questions unanswered, lessons not learned, and for veterans who survive, including thousands of West Virginians, haunting memories remain.
“When PBS announced Ken Burns’ series The Vietnam War would air this fall, we realized it presented a special opportunity to produce a companion film to tell West Virginia’s story by capturing and preserving the oral histories of our own Vietnam veterans,” said Scott Finn, Executive Director of WVPB.
“The process of making this film has taught me there are as many perspectives on the Vietnam War as there are those who served, each one unique,” said Higgins, who met and talked with dozens of Vietnam veterans. “But I’ve heard shared experiences as well: fear, horror, loss, rejection, disillusionment, detachment, anger – and perseverance.”
The panel discussion will feature Vietnam veterans Dr. Fletcher Lamkin (WVU Parkersburg president and retired Brigadier General, Army), Greg Smith (Retired Lieutenant Colonel, Air Force), and Dr. Rob Anderson (WVU Parkersburg Associate Professor of History).