I was a kindergartener when the startling news of Pearl Harbor blasted through the radio in my grandparent’s living room. I didn’t know what the word “war” meant. I remember food and tire rationing, air raid drills and the shock at the death of President Roosevelt. My class later visited his home at Hyde Park, New York.

The Korean War happened while I was in high school and college. I don’t remember much of it, as I was very busy with my education.

Because of television, however, the Vietnam War came into our living room. I had cousins and friends who were there, and the country was divided. We were asking questions like “Why were we there?” and “Should we be there?” The pictures were shocking. Our country was not
supporting our military, and the returning veterans were looked down upon, despite the extraordinary sacrifices they had made.

The Benicia Historical Museum houses artifacts from the Civil War to the present. It has produced exhibitions to remind us of the First and Second World Wars. Now, a new exhibit is scheduled to recall the Vietnam War and to remember the three Benicia men who lost their lives in

“Vietnam War Veterans Remembered” is open from May 29 until the end of July. Photographs, weapons, uniforms, flags, maps, medals, and models of aircraft and ground vehicles have been assembled by a committee of veterans, under the leadership of Beverly Phelan, Museum Curator. The veterans have arranged a large map where fellow veterans can place a pin where they served and display their unit patches. The exhibit is intended to honor the Vietnam veterans who did their job when called. All the American uniformed services involved in the conflict will be represented, and there will be items liberated from the Viet Cong and North Vietnamese Army as well.

The Vietnam exhibit gives the museum and the community a chance to honor those men and women who served and died in the war. The event opening will be on Sunday May 29, at 2pm and will be free to the public. Call 707-745-5435 or visit beniciahistoricalmuseum.org for more information.