If you thought The Civil War, the PBS documentary released in 1990 that made filmmaker Ken Burns a household name, was a big deal, just wait. Burns says that The Vietnam War, set to premier on Sept. 17, is his most ambitious project ever – if nothing else, it’s longer than Burns’ take on the war between the states, and the music will probably be better. The Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum and WILL TV plan to set the stage with a panel discussion scheduled for Sept. 14. The discussion moderated by Mark DePue, who heads the ALPLM’s oral history project, will include, among others, a conscientious objector, a military nurse and a Vietnamese refugee, all Illinois residents. The event that starts at 6:30 p.m. also will include a 15-minute sneak preview of Burns’ documentary.
DePue in a written statement calls the Vietnam War the seminal event of the late 20th century that traumatized both those who served in the military and those who did not and, given that a lot of people who lived through it are still around, you just might learn as much from folks in the audience as on the stage. Free tickets are required and can be obtained by visiting the ALPLM’s website and clicking on Special Event Presentations on the left of the screen.