Wednesday, April 27, 2011

IRA coming up, and Welcome Home Vietnam Veterans Day

March 30 has been designated Welcome Home Vietnam Veterans Day by the U.S. Senate. It's the 38th anniversary of the withdrawal of U.S. combat troops from Vietnam. With my new book, Dogtag Summer, just out, I'm fascinated by the whole war -- why we got in, the conflict between what was happening with the military and protesters at home, our defeat by the Communists in 1975. How have the intervening years been for those directly impacted by the war -- the Americans who fought, the Vietnamese, the orphans adopted here?

Do you have friends or family caught up in the Vietnam war? How are they doing? Were you?

There has been a belated, growing attempt to honor the military who served, rather than trash them along with the war. One of the first public attempts was the controversial design and construction of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington DC, better known as the Wall.

I'm busy getting ready for International Reading Association annual meeting in a couple weeks. I'll be on a panel with some great authors, talking about technology. I've been putting together a speech on how I research online, especially how I find and use photographs, as well as this very cool program I am setting up with Jerome Burg, a Google Lit Trip for Dogtag Summer.

1 comment:

Melanie said...

This topic makes me think of the Hmong students at my elementary school. As an art teacher, I try to expose my students to art from around the world, especially from the countries of origin represented in my classroom.

When we did a project on Kalagas from Burma, and I showed a map of the region and photos of people in traditional dress, the reaction I got from the Hmong students was really sweet. The majority just came up to me privately and shared where they came from or that they had costumes at home like the ones in the pictures. But there was this one boy named Thomas who kept shouting, "I'm from Laos! I'm from Laos!"