Marquette to host ‘Waging Peace in Vietnam,’  an exhibition on Vietnam War resistance in the military

Marquette will host “Waging Peace in Vietnam: U.S. Soldiers and Veterans who Opposed the War,” a traveling exhibition and program highlighting resistance during the Vietnam War by active-duty U.S. service members and veterans, April 1–17.

The exhibition, which will feature “Dissent and Resistance Within the Military” on display at Raynor Library, is co-sponsored by the Marquette Center for Peacemaking and will also host speakers, a musical performance, and films to promote healing and reconciliation.

The exhibition documents the little-known history of how the “GI Movement” for peace unfolded and how opposition and resistance from within all branches of the military helped bring about the end of the war. It has been touring for four years, with exhibitions at  24 university campuses throughout the U.S. and Vietnam.

“Waging Peace in Vietnam” and its companion book show how the GI Movement grew from the numerous anti-war coffeehouses springing up outside military bases and hundreds of GI newspapers giving an independent voice to active soldiers, to the strikes and near-mutinies on naval vessels and within the Air Force.

Events at Marquette during the exhibit’s run include:

  • “Soldiers in Revolt,” Wednesday, April 3, at noon at Alumni Memorial Union. This opening panel features Ron Haeberle, an Army photographer who released his photos of the My Lai massacre; Susan Schnall, president of Veterans for Peace and a Navy veteran who was court-martialed for leading anti-war efforts while in uniform; and Dr. David Cortright, professor emeritus at the University of Notre Dame, longtime anti-war activist and leading authority on the peace movement.
  • “Healing Wars Legacies,” Thursday, April 4, at 12:30 p.m. at Alumni Memorial Union. This will be a discussion between Ngo Xuan Hien and Chuck Searcy, both of Vietnam’s RENEW Bomb and Landmine Clearance project; and Heather Bowser, an Agent Orange survivor whose father was exposed to American chemical weapons while serving in Vietnam.
  • “Child of War, Woman of Peace with Le Ly Hayslip,” Monday, April 15, at 4 p.m. at Raynor Library. Hayslip is a Vietnamese American author, philanthropist and peace activist. She will read from and discuss her memoir, “When Heaven and Earth Changed Places,” which was the basis for the Oliver Stone film, “Heaven and Earth.” The Center for Peacemaking has honored her with the title of Peacemaker-in-Residence during her time at Marquette.
  • Three films will be streamed live with presentations by their directors afterward:

All events are free and open to the public. A full schedule and individual event registration where necessary is available online at the Center for Peacemaking website.

Related exhibits will simultaneously be on display at the Wisconsin Historical Society in Madison and Polk Library on the University of Wisconsin–Oshkosh campus. Milwaukee Veterans for Peace, Peace Action of Wisconsin, United Nations Association of Greater Milwaukee, and the Wisconsin Network for Peace and Justice are co-sponsors of the Marquette exhibit.

Housed within the Helen Way Klingler College of Arts and Sciences, the Center for Peacemaking contributes to instruction, research and community engagement at the university. For the past 10 years, the center, through its Peace Works program, has helped behavioral reassignment schools, traditional schools, Catholic schools and youth-serving agencies teach young people to modify behaviors while simultaneously working to increase young people’s connections to their schools and protective factors from violence.