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The Vietnam War Preview in Peoria By Paul Appel

Published on: September 14, 2017

Filed Under: Burns/Novick, Previewing Burns/Novick

Views: 206

For those that may be interested in how the preview played in Peoria, my impressions are as follows:

I got to the sold out showing early and was warmly welcomed by the local PBS employees and volunteers. I had sent the station the Full Disclosure paper earlier, and it was evident that they had looked at it. Tickets were free thanks to financial sponsors that included Gold Star Families. There was just a short introduction to the documentary with no panel afterwards. I sat by the exit, so I was able to get out first to station myself to hand the paper to those who wanted one. Most everyone did want a copy. I would estimate that a quarter of the audience were Viet Nam veterans. It was pretty obvious that as the attendees flowed by me reaching out to get a paper that they were wanting to get help in dealing with their suffering from the war that had just come into their view with the preview. It almost seemed as if some were drowning and needed a helping hand. The woman that was the organizer for the library’s Big Read of “The Things They Carried ” last year amazingly knew my name and told me that the library was planing on 4 or 5 discussions about the documentary which I hope to attend. Had a letter about the documentary in the Galesburg and Quad Cities papers today and probably in the Peoria paper tomorrow.

I really appreciate all the historical and factual data that has been shared and have been learning  much. Nevertheless, since I am not the sharpest knife in the drawer I will probably be keeping my comments to others more simple and personal. The only time that I have read that Noble Peace Prize winner Henry Kissinger got really flustered was after he had finished giving a talk on how his great diplomatic skills had supposedly ended the war. In the Q and A following the lecture, a Vietnam vet asked him the simple question, “can you name one person killed in the war?” The flustered Kissinger could not.

Look forward to further comments from all of you,
Paul Appell

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