About the National Archives

Welcome Remarks for "Conflict Journalism in South East Asia"

Good evening, and welcome to the William G. McGowan Theater at the National Archives. I’m David Ferriero, Archivist of the United States, and I’m very pleased you could join us, whether you’re here with us in the theater or joining through YouTube, for our program on “Conflict Journalism in South East Asia.”

Tonight we’ll examine the role of the television journalist during the Vietnam War, and how it influenced subsequent conflicts.

We are honored to have as our special guests, Ted Koppel, journalist and former anchor of Nightline; Yasutsune [Ya Zoot Soonee] “Tony” Hirashiki [Here A Sheekee], who was an ABC News cameraman from 1966 to 2006—and during his 10 years in Vietnam was present at virtually every major event—Barrie Dunsmore, a journalist who covered foreign affairs for 30 years; and producer and author Terry Irving, who will be our moderator.

Following the discussion, there will be a signing of the book, On the Frontlines of the Television War, written by Mr. Hirashiki, edited by Mr. Irving, and with an introduction by Mr. Koppel.

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Tonight’s program is part of a series of discussions, film programs, lectures, and other events we are presenting in conjunction with our new exhibit, “Remembering Vietnam,” which opened last month in the Lawrence F. O’Brien Gallery upstairs.

The exhibit is a media-rich exploration of the Vietnam War, featuring historic analysis as well as interviews with American and Vietnamese veterans and civilians with first-hand experience of the war’s events. It is a fascinating collection of newly discovered and iconic original documents, images, film footage, and artifacts that illuminate 12 critical episodes in the war that divided the peoples of both the United States and Vietnam.

The next program related to the “Remembering Vietnam” exhibit will be on Wednesday, December 13, at noon. Author Molly Burton will discuss and sign her new book, Finally, A Parade for You: A Gift of Gratitude for Military Men and Women Who Served During the Vietnam War. It is a collection of mini-biographies of men and women who sacrificed their peaceful lives to serve their country during the Vietnam War.

To learn more about these and all of our public programs and exhibits, consult our monthly Calendar of Events online at Archives.gov. Check our website or sign up to get email updates. You’ll also find information about other National Archives programs and activities.

Another way to get more involved with the National Archives is to become a member of the National Archives Foundation. The Foundation supports the work of the agency, especially its education and outreach programs. Pick up your application for membership in the lobby or become a member online at archivesfoundation.org.

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Now I ask all Vietnam veterans or any United States veterans who served on active duty in the U.S. Armed Forces at any time during the period of November 1, 1955, to May 15, 1975, to stand and be recognized.

Veterans, as you exit the McGowan Theater after today’s program, National Archives staff and volunteers will present each of you with the Vietnam Veteran Lapel Pin. On the back of the pin is embossed:

“A Grateful Nation Thanks and Honors You.”

The United States of America Vietnam War Commemoration is a national initiative, and the lapel pin is the nation’s lasting memento of thanks.

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And now it is my pleasure to introduce our moderator, Terry Irving.

In the early 1970s, when he was a motorcycle courier for ABC News, Terry probably carried some of Tony's newsfilm. He then went into a career in television news, spending four decades covering war zones, tragic disasters, and political stories across the United States. He has earned a number of awards including four National Emmy Awards, three Peabody Awards for Significant and Meritorious Achievement, and four Columbia University DuPont Awards.

Ladies and gentlemen, please welcome Terry Irving and our distinguished panel to the stage.