Vietnam Reflections preview
Ken Burns and Lynn Novick’s documentary series “The Vietnam War” tells the story of one of the most divisive and disputed events in American history.
The series explores the human aspect of the war through testimony of nearly 80 witnesses from all sides and today, a room of Mississippi Vietnam veterans had a chance to catch a sneak peek of the show.
A local audience of Vietnam veterans had a front row seat of a new presentation of the Vietnam War Friday in Ocean Springs. Mississippi Public Broadcasting screened an hour’s worth of segments from “Vietnam Reflections” a documentary created by Ken Burns. MPB Executive Director Ronnie Agnew said, “The documentary talks about the loss of life where millions of people died in that war. So, we are just here right now doing what we should be doing using the power of our statewide broadcasting capabilities to bring attention to something that is so very important.”
War is never simple and for a lot of the veterans this documentary brought back a lot of memories, both good and bad. Veteran John Pendergrass said, “It re-awakens memories of certain things I forgot. You remember things selectively. Your memory tends to eliminate most of the bad things and this brings back a few of the bad things. A war always brings out the very best and the very worst of people and this shows it.”
The ten episode documentary gave veterans an opportunity to reflect on some of their own and other’s experiences and to what degree history has been taught and what lessons have since been learned. The segments feature perspectives from American and North and South Vietnamese fighters and civilians at home and on the front lines. Ocean Springs Mayor Shea Dobson said, “What this film really highlights is that nobody really wins in these types of wars. You know, there is not a winner and a loser. It’s a tragedy and it’s really what kind of happens when diplomacy breaks down. So, I think it is important to learn from it and to move forward.”