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tv   Vietnam Veterans Memorial Collection  CSPAN  February 27, 2016 10:00am-10:31am EST

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said this election is over. and i think that's the reason in part that we didn't have a constitutional crisis. he supreme court should have waited until all the ballots were counted to issue an opinion to say, this election is over. needed this to be decided by december 12th so two e will have a full weeks of christmas shopping christmas history tv erican american's artifacts gives places. and historic the collection includes an estimated 400,000 items left at since it opened in 1982.
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the collections are stored in these blue boxes. next we visit the national park service resource center to see a selection of items left at the wall. hi. and workeum technician for the vietnam memorial out in maryland. it's for national capital regions parks. housed collection is entirely in this building. we are a collection of objects at a memorial in d.c., the vietnam memorial. come by the memorial every day and leave objects at the rangers which our park collect and then every two weeks or so, we do a pick-up at the them out nd we bring here to our museum resource center and we sort through them catalog them and make them part of our collection. some objects to show you from the collection.
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hey kind of cover the range of the collection interprets. they're objects that will be on display and i think they are really good example of things in the this was part of the this man's s in corporal michael pedal's room when he what you in high school. note is from his brother but the you the context of scene you see here. pedal drew his door when he was still at home. it depicts service men crouching body of maybe a dead soldier. he drew his drew it own name on the dogtags of the soldier.
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his mother was not okay with that. him erase it. nd soon after he went into the military and went to vietnam and action.illed in and his brother cut this out of brought it to the wall after he wrote michael's dogtags.n on the nd so, he left it at the wall for his brother. and i don't know if you can get a close-up in the letter. good letter and it tells the same story, but in a much better way that i could ever say. big brother you never made it home so i brought a piece to you. here's the picture you drew before you went to vietnam. i know you put your name on the tags so you filled it back in. you seemed to old when you went young were a
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i remember the things can he did together and the motorcycle and i always wanted to thank you for watching out for me. these are some of the objects we potentially for oing on loan to the ronald reag reag reagan reagan library. they showcase what is in the and what things the collection speaks about. his one specifically is a really good example of something son. from a mother to a this was left on veterans day in 1983. a woman called whimbish and her son was in vietnam.tion
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he was leaving this type of object since the wall you a dedicated. this one specifically '83 but -- it was from this one specifically mentions er diary she wrote the year previous in 1982, she was there was dedicated l and she described seeing his the first wall for time. and walking up to the wall and and what she e felt seeing his name but then also looking around and seeing other people around her who were also touching the names loved it describes how overwhelming that was for her. continued to leave letters wrapped in plastic on poster board for at least 10, 15 years for her son and she on his birthday, on
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the day he died, mother's day, and ans day, christmas easter. things like that, just for the holidays he missed. day was unseasonably warm in sunny when we arrived washington, d.c.. i could feel the black wall and yet my feet didn't want to move. i was so scared. i was afraid i would find your name on the black wall and yet i afraid the mistake had been been leftour name had out. how does one cry to explain such mixed emotions. i'll never forget the day when looking for your name. honey,ther quietly said, here he is. as i looked to where his hand i touching the black wall saw your name. my heart seemed to stop. though i couldn't
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breathe. it was like a bad dream. i felt as though i were freezing. that's how it hurt. i looked around at all the the e and then up and down black wall. this memorial to all these men and women who lost their lives vietnam, these thousands and names.nds of >> the collection started in 1982 from the very, very beginning of the memorial people started leaving things. right from the dedication people were leaving things at the loved ones their and missing loved ones and for hose who came back and were wounded in action. phenomenon expected that sprung up out of nowhere. the parkirst two years service wasn't sure what to do with the things being left at the wall. it was unprecedented. no one had every done no one had seen anything like this happen
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before. for the first two years they the objects kept isolated, you know, out of the way trying to figure out what to and then in 1984, our previous curator decided to make this -- all the objects an service park collection. an after 1984, it became official park surface collection of the we started collecting doing it ever and since. the blue boxes are kind of an see when theyople come here to the museum resource the collection. they're made specifically for our collection. large.e they're made out of plastic that decay or cause damage to the objects and they store all objects from vietnam memorial collection. letter left for a man
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in gary. august 5, 1989. describes gary nd grit's interaction in vietnam. they were comrades in arm. would always t gary for the time. never knew what time it was even though he was a radio operator even though he could easily call in and ask. gary would always tell him. always left his he -- he his john wayne, his can opener here and he always and gary wasopener killed after an explosive device detonated and it described how arms and him in his decided let him go and to leave his watch and can
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gary. for gary jenks.ral on the wall. >> this was left ten year anniversary of the wall and left by john sparks who was a prisoner of war for five years in vietnam. had done an oral history project for the library of congress. go into their you can istory project hear about his experience. flag to his united states after he was released. n it is a crucifix which he made out of a toothpaste tube the tie is from his prison aiform and right here there's
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pow m.i.a. and the saying he dedicates his lag to the people missing in action in vietnam. a lot of times this they want to things that they left we are always willing to give them a tour and show them around. it also really helps us because we can connect specific names to what they've left, like, for instance we have a big we i think it was left in 2002. i am too young to know what it that in i've been told latran they use it as à to unfortunate soldier had burn it every now and then and that was one of the worst jobs could you have. us a ame and they gave
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little bit of context about what it was and when they left it and why. so that's really cool. so there are some donors who are really active and want to left.e things that they so this is as you may or may not paper a roll of toilet which you may wonder why we have it in our collection. toilet paper was as good as gold in vietnam. and u're out in the field you didn't have any toilet paper you had to make due with else less desirable. so we get little rolls of toilet paper. we get the -- in the rations sometimes they were given a of toilet paper. e get those left at the wall very often. we understand veterans they see toilet paper they know what it was left for. this one was left with this note.e it says it won't wash off.
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the sounds, the smells, like the that come and go in the ocean in my mind, the memories remain. left in 1992. these two photographs were left veterans day in 1993 which was the dedication of the memorial. the women's memorial are dedicated to the women who in vietnam.ied you don't often talk about the women of the wars. there are actually eight women's but there e memorial are at least 60 women who died and didn't get their names on the memorial because they enlisted in the military, but these are two donut dollies who are essentially american red volunteers and those were the other 60 women who died were something nteers or of that sort. often they were nurses in vietnam. they staffed the field
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hospitals. these two are dedicated army and s at cameron says, lists the ladies of the american red cross from to january 1972. ons was left at the memorial june 4, 1992. 365 s a countdown of numbers which 365 days is the standard tour that veterans in vietnam. so, i am assuming -- we don't have any other information about this, no background information -- but i assume he printed this out and counted down the days that he had to it's in vietnam because titled "the long road home." it on the bottom down here
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says my vietnam holiday. and this is really interesting because as he was crossing off the days, he would put a little bit more information about what his 280th day was. points here his 269th day was christmas. zone landing when he was in the hump for these days. anniversary. we don't know of what. oesn't describe what the anniversary is. it just -- i'm assuming as he would experience a day he would cross it off. it has some other considering days here too because we have the 4th of july. day 2nd day -- well, his that he only had 62 more days was man has landed on the moon. his last five days, five day drop. he says, caution,
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to yourmay be hazardous health. often for t we see people who -- we get a lot of things for short timers where days as people who had 30 or less in vietnam. o we have a lot of short timer sticks where they would count notch off the days they had left. we have a lot of calendars like counting they were down the days until they got to go home. o, really interesting to see things like this especially if they carried it in vietnam. the park service is guided by certain rules that we follow, antiquities act and organic act. set the basis for all collections in our nation. specifically for us our simpleion is guided by a collection statement. every museum collection in a service has a scope of
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collection statements and that di what we keep for the collection and what we're in interpreting for the collection and what falls and also perimeters tells you what it does not fall within the perimeters of the collection. here, we doe brought what we call processing, that's kind of sorting through them and that go hings together together if they were left by the same person or group of people. rganic items like flowers and leaves and stuff like should not be become part of a museum collection, food. keep things that are hazardous to our health bviously, that would include things like live ammunition and and unaltered things like united states state that no one has written
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anything on. but once we process it, we put into archival standard containers, bags and folders and that, boxes, and then our ts cataloged into cataloging database and then we for se the objects interpretation, for exhibits, and things like that. >> this is an example of a catalog. everything in it is in our an base so we could look up object by its catalog number here. this right is the number which tells us when we received it into our number. important for us to know when we took property of it essentially. and as you can see, they're nicely folded and they have tags that will associate them if we have to take out of the bag. catalog number it
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is. up nicely american flags archival objects which is paper objects in these all organized that way. so if i need to pull something for researcher or for an exhibit something i can look into our database and it will tell me and i go to that box and it's fairly easy to find. either in our folders or in a bag. box is all -- they were all left at the wall around the same time. organize everything by when it was left at the wall. from s box i think is anniversary.en year maybe just after the ten year anniversary which was 1992.ber so maybe around christmas time
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which is why you would see these types of ribbons, you know, bows and stuff like that. >> so the oldest box in here > we have four boxes from the 2000 year 1982 to 1984 when they i just initially things and this is one right here. you can see t's a lot of the same types of things and a lot of same types of things that are being left today. ofhave a lot of pins, badges sk religious items and documentary artifacts is the category of objects that
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are left at the wall. essentially. and so it's letters, notes, clippings, greeting cards, business cards, things like that. lot of flags. plaques. so this card was left in 2000. ellen for barry who was killed in vietnam. going to read it. it says, my dearest barry, it's 31 years since you were taken away from me. but you remain in my heart. always.t love as i visit the memorial wall today in washington, d.c., i i gave h you the ring you on your 18th birthday the first summer we met. i love you that still although i'm married and have three beautiful children, sister, med after your
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blake and rayna. will mourn for the family we were never given the chance to have. when the lord takes me home i meet you again and share many memories. so this letter and the trophy on october 30th, 1988, craig i believe it was left by his son. says, phy on the back with all my love christmas 1969, dad. so i assume that maybe his dad ave it to his son and the son came to the wall and left it. the note says, were you afraid? of course you were. trick is not to be always hopeless.but never to be brave again for those who have been brave for us and for defend on us. yet it's a beautiful day. we would be playing golf. beating you by two
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strokes, sucker. michael.always a peace pendant on it. we have to kind of infer the background information for us. maybe they would always play golf together before his dad war. away to we don't really know. this note is all we have. this harmonica and the note was on october 10, 1995. t was in an envelope addressed to gary thomas. he served as a radio telegraph for the third reckon sense. were d ever since you killed i've been blowing the blues. for daily, brother bob.
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in-country an photograph that was left at the wall august 9, 1989. depicts first and second first s, c company and marines.n fifth they're honoring three dead. you can see three here. he he knew of the men. was robertd his name and another he called the new guy. he called mr. point. up the -- i can look names. on december 15, 1967, and so by looking up the
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people who were in that company who died on the same day, i found out that the other two men re probably william edwin pierson who was the new guy and eddie lee jackson who was mr. point. the marine chronology gave the for their death company c hit by a le was command detonated booby trap and and led was searched wires were found with negative results. it resulted in one killed in action and six wounded in action. ut two of the men obviously later died. pierson, heguy, mr. had been in vietnam for just 24 killed.fore he was so both of these notes were left in august of 1986. i assume they're from the same woman although they both touch topics.ery different in one she's describing about how she was a nurse in vietnam signs it lieutenant
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one is and the other talking about her husband tom who died in vietnam and she the one she -- one when she was a nurse and starts off i went to vietnam to heal and came home silently wounded. still awaken nd from nightmares about those we home to save and came grieve for those who we sent paralyzed, mindless. went to vietnam to heal and discovered i'm not god. and the other one she talks about her husband tom. we would have been married 21 years this year. he was on rried when leave in san diego. went backme they both to the war where he was killed. and so, they were only married a short time. ut she leaves this letter in honor of him 21 years later.
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e get a lot of very similar objects left at the wall. a lot of poems, a lot of cards, this. and stuff like but this one was left just this and it was pretty spectacular, i thought. and it doesn't look exactly like at the hen it was left wall, but it was 13 letters. hey were written by this young man. his name is jim addressed to his girl friend, potential home.riend back was're letters from when he in basic training up to ten from first in enlisted -- i think he joined voluntarily and not drafted. vietnam in early
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learned quickly that he only had to serve five months instead of the regular year long previous se of some experience or work he had done sew was excited to get home and et to know patricia a little bit better because they just met before he went to vietnam. letter kind of shows and utting feelers out trying to get to know her personality. and they also show the type of in gs he was experiencing vietnam like just going there their for the first time and the heat and the smells and all no e men around him and women anywhere. to send st continued er letters until he was killed in march of 1966. he was only there for two months of his five month tour before he
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was killed. patricia t letter to is dated 24 march 1966 and on march 30th and the wrote to her ever was, it won't be long now. signed jim. the collection i feel the collection is to help people -- well, the purpose f the wall is to help people heal and get over their -- the things that happened to them in to remember specifically the men who died in vietnam. collection kind of lends a helping hand to that. ost people will leave things that are kind of folk art to the craft helps them heal. lot of things have to do with
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ptsd. so we have a lot of groups that do a therapy group and they make leave it at the wall so it's helping their healing process. lot of thingsve a that give just a little more information about a specific soldier's life. so when you go to the wall you see all these names on the wall the collection gives a little background history to as long as somebody has left something for a specific person we can tell just a little bit more about that person's life. so, that's really i think the purpose of the collection. i think that is the purpose of the collection. historian and author william davis talks about the different upbringings of ulysses s robert e lee and how their childhoods impacted their later lives.


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