AboutStudents come face-to-face with the Vietnam War when they meet veterans and visit The Vietnam Veterans Memorial. The war is revealed through compelling stories grounded in the personal experiences of Alabama veterans and others who were touched by the Vietnam War. Our student reporters conduct interviews and visit the Memorial with a veteran and consider the lasting effects of the war.
This issue guide is from the David Mathews Center for Civic Life. The issue is complicated and controversial, and conversations are often deeply personal. What one person finds offensive; another person might find meaningful. Perspective matters, and we gain a better understanding of another’s perspective when we talk open and honestly with each other about what we value.
This guide is written for a group to use in a deliberative forum facilitated by a neutral moderator. The guide includes three approaches to the issue, but they are meant to prompt, not limit, discussion.
Conducting an Oral History Interview with a Veteran
This printable sheet provides instructions and guidance for conducting an oral history. Students can use it as a guide to follow along with the live event; it is also useful for future oral history projects.
- Lane states a quote, “There is no great love than to lay down your life for a brother.” What does that quote mean to you?
- When the young reporter states, “It was like Mr. Lane and the other veterans knew each other,” what do you think he meant?
- Why are oral histories so important?
- What do you think it means when it is said The Wall can help veterans and families of those killed in Vietnam deal with their pain?
- What do the two statues that are part of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial represent? Why do you think it was important to include these statues?
For additional educational resources visit these sites:
- Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund
- Wall of Faces The virtual Wall of Faces features a page dedicated to honoring and remembering every person whose name is inscribed on the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington, D.C.
- Alabama Remembers Vietnam View the collection of videos and stories from Alabama Remembers Vietnam oral histories project.
- Jeremiah Alabama Public Television Documentary Jeremiah Denton battled the North Vietnamese for eight long years as a prisoner in the infamous Hanoi Hilton prison. Family, friends, and fellow POWs help tell the story of this American hero who returned from Vietnam and became a U.S. Senator from Alabama in this APT original film.
- Maya Lin Khan Academy