Holland Vietnam Veteran Stories
Dr. Marc Baer
The Vietnam War stands as one of the most transformative conflicts in American history, yet one of the most under-researched. An initial search in Hope College’s Theil Archives in Holland, Michigan, revealed very little available archival materials on how the war impacted one of West Michigan’s largest coastal cities. Furthermore, a collective silence surrounds many of Holland’s Vietnam veterans; their stories are largely unavailable to members of the Holland community. This project sought to address this silence through the production of three short audio-visual slideshows on YouTube. Although it is still in its initial stages, this project will be a stepping stone for future exploration of the stories of local Vietnam veterans. Through future investigation, this project may be able to weave together shared experiences between other veterans to present an accurate depiction of the collective experience of Holland’s Vietnam veteran community. At its core, however, the project provides the Holland community with a digital platform to examine and discuss a story about one man, one town, and their intersection with the Vietnam War.
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