About the National Archives

Welcome Remarks at The Vietnam War Revisited Symposium

McGowan Theater, National Archives Building
September 14, 2018

Good morning, and welcome to the William G. McGowan Theater at the National Archives. I’m Debra Wall, Deputy Archivist of the United States, and whether you are here in the theater or joining us through YouTube, I’m very glad you could be with us for today’s symposium, “The Vietnam War Revisited.”

Before we get started, I’d like to let you know about two other upcoming programs, both on Tuesday, September 18.

At noon on Tuesday, the newly appointed director of the Lyndon B. Johnson Library, Kyle Longley, will be here to discuss and sign his book LBJ’s 1968: Power, Politics, and the Presidency in America’s Year of Upheaval.

And then that evening at 7:30, we will partner with the Center for the Constitution at James Madison’s Montpelier to present a panel discussion, “For Us, By Us: America's Trust In & Expectations of, The Constitution.”

Visit our website, Archives.gov, to learn about all our programs, 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. Learn more about their work on their website—archivesfoundation.org.

Today’s symposium is one in a series of discussions, film programs, lectures, and other events we are presenting in connection with our exhibit “Remembering Vietnam” in the Lawrence F. O’Brien Gallery upstairs.

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 both newly discovered and iconic original documents, images, film footage, and artifacts that illuminate 12 critical episodes in a war that divided the peoples of both the United States and Vietnam.

We are honored to co-present this symposium with the Assembly for Democracy in Vietnam, which brings together overseas Vietnamese and those in Vietnam in a variety of organizations and sectors—culture, education, labor, press, and human rights—who share the goal of promoting democracy in Vietnam.

Representing the ADVN is Jackie Bong Wright, who was instrumental in putting together today’s symposium and assembling the outstanding line-up of presenters.

Jackie Bong Wright arrived in the United States in 1975 and founded the Indochinese Refugees Social Services, which assisted hundreds of boat refugees to resettle in the Washington area. A graduate of International Relations at Georgetown’s School of Foreign Service, Mrs. Wright has accompanied her husband, a Department of State Foreign Service Officer, to embassies in seven countries in Europe, Asia, Latin America, and the Caribbean.

Back in the US, she established the Vietnamese American Voters Association and registered citizens to vote. She has been on the board of directors of the Vietnam Human Rights Network and of the Assembly for Democracy in Vietnam for the past 15 years.

Ladies and gentlemen, please welcome Jackie Bong Wright.