About the National Archives

Welcome Remarks for "Vietnam Photographers: Capturing the War on Film"

McGowan Theater, National Archives Building, Washington, DC
November 1, 2018

Good evening. I’m David Ferriero, Archivist of the United States, and I’m pleased to welcome you to the William G. McGowan Theater at the National Archives, whether you’re here in the theater or joining us through Facebook or YouTube. Tonight’s program—“Vietnam Photographers: Capturing the War on Film”—is presented in observance of the 50th anniversary of the Vietnam War and in partnership with the U.S. Army Center of Military History.

Before we hear from our panelists, I’d like to let you know about two other programs coming up in the next couple of weeks.

On Thursday, November 8, at 7 p.m., we’ll show the documentary film Blood Road, which follows mountain bike athlete Rebecca Rusch and her Vietnamese riding partner as they pedal twelve hundred miles along the Ho Chi Minh Trail to find the crash site of Rebecca’s father, a U.S. Air Force pilot shot down over Laos some 40 years earlier.

Then on Thursday, November 15, at 7 p.m., we will host the U.S. premiere of The Tokyo Trials, a documentary produced in observance of the 70th anniversary of the Tokyo War Crimes Trial’s adjournment in 1948. The film uses archival video from the National Archives and other international archival collections.

Check our website, Archives.gov, or sign up at the table outside the theater 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. Check out their website— archivesfoundation.org—to learn more about them and join online.

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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 from 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.

Last Veterans Day, we opened our current special exhibition, “Remembering Vietnam,” in the Lawrence F. O’Brien Gallery upstairs. If you haven’t already, I hope you take some time to go through it before it closes on January 6, 2019.

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

The visual imagery of “Remembering Vietnam” relies on the talents of the many photographers who risked their own safety to capture the stories of the war in pictures.

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Tonight we’ll hear from some of those combat photographers, and learn their own stories.

It is my pleasure to welcome Lee Reynolds to the stage. He is the Strategic Communications Officer for the U.S. Army Center of Military History in Washington, DC. Previously, he was the senior manager for the Universal Studios Hollywood Backlot Tour from 2014 to 2016 and now works as an independent contractor as an actor, screenwriter, and creative producer. He has more than 20 years’ experience in the entertainment industry as an actor, screenwriter, playwright, stage manager, military technical adviser, producer, and director.

Ladies and gentlemen, please welcome Lee Reynolds and the panel.