Submitted by San Juan Islands Museum of Art
In April, the San Juan Islands Museum of Art is opening a photography show, “MY WAR: Wartime Photographs by Vietnam Veterans,” a national touring exhibit. In addition, there will be an exhibit of photographs, artifacts and stories of Vietnam veterans of San Juan County titled “A War Never Ends.” Two local Vietnam veterans, Peter DeLorenzi and Reve Shannon, along with Janet Thomas, an ex-Army wife, who was at Fort Dix, New Jersey, during the war, are coordinating the local participation.
The museum is putting out a call to Vietnam veterans and family members who have a story, photograph, poem, song or artifact to share. If you are directly connected to the Vietnam War or know somebody who is, help spread the word.
SJIMA’s goal is to honor the courage and the innocence, the accomplishments and the suffering, the silence and the struggle of it all. Those who served in Vietnam have a story that serves the future as well as the present.
Along with an exhibit of submitted materials, museum board and staff have planned a presentation to include music, poetry, stories and any other submissions appropriate for live presentation. SJIMA will honor and protect all submissions and the privacy of individuals who wish to remain anonymous. If you have a story to share and would like help writing it, let the organizers know and they will be more than happy to assist.
SJIMA is aware of the sensitivities around the issues of post-traumatic stress and the overall unwillingness to revisit the past and understand any reluctance to participate. The museum staff and board also firmly believe that the stories and the stresses of the men and women sent to fight in the Vietnam War should not be sidelined by history. The lessons are timeless. So are the ramifications on body, mind, spirit, family, friends and the future.
For more information, or to submit items contact Peter DeLorenzi at 360-317-1416. The exhibition opens April 5 and ends June 3.