The Vietnam War lasted 10,000 days, cost the nation 56,000 lives, 300,000 wounded, 1,200 missing in action, and $141 billion.
It sparked riots and protests at home and ended without a victory. It left Americans divided in their feelings about the United States’ role in Southeast Asia and the world.
The Walker Public Library is privileged to bring a special program titled “Minnesota and the Vietnam War.” The presenter is Arn Kind, a teacher for more than 40 years, who will come in the authentic uniform of an American soldier serving in Vietnam to speak about America’s most controversial war.
Kind’s presentation will be held in the lower level of the Walker American Legion at 1 p.m. Feb. 26 with refreshments provided.
Learn about the social, economic and military aspects of the war, going back to its beginning from French involvement in Indochina to the entry of the United States fighting on the Asian continent a century later. Learn about how Americans wrestled with the dilemma of whether the stemming of the spread of communism was worth the cost of young men’s lives.
This multimedia presentation will use power-point, video, music, drama, role-playing and living history experiences, to give an understanding of this turbulent time and make history come alive.
Kind will describe the increasing commitment of each of the five American presidents, the rising antiwar protests at home and eventual U.S. withdrawal from Vietnam, and the lingering tragic effects of a war that had never been declared.
This program will also focus on the young men who went off to fight when their country called on them. Their uniforms, weapons (non-firing reproductions), and equipment will be displayed and described. What was it like to be a grunt in Vietnam? What were the tactics and strategies of the war? You will learn of the dangers that American soldiers endured during their tour of duty in Vietnam, only to return home to a nation that not only was ungrateful for their service, but many times hostile toward them.