The Library of Congress is inviting people to pay tribute to Vietnam veterans during Live at the Library in May, as we celebrate the 50th anniversary of the dedication of the Vietnam War Memorial.
The Library of Congress has a host of cultural events lined up for the month of May, including commemorations of Yiddish history in the United States and the legacy of recipes and cookbooks in America.
The Vietnam War was a conflict between communist North Vietnam and South Vietnam, which was supported by the United States and other anti-communist allies. The war lasted for almost two decades, from 1955 to 1975. It is estimated that more than 3 million people lost their lives, including approximately 58,000 American soldiers. Despite the controversy surrounding the war, it is important to honour and recognise the sacrifice of the veterans who served during this tumultuous time in history.
If you have ancestors who served in the Vietnam War, there are many resources available to help you research their military service. The National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) has a wealth of information on military personnel, including service records, unit histories, and casualty lists. The Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund also has a database of names of those who died during the war, as well as a registry for veterans who served.
In addition to honouring veterans, Live at the Library is also an opportunity to explore the Library of Congress and all it has to offer. On Thursday evenings, the Thomas Jefferson Building and all exhibitions are open for extended hours from 5 to 8:30 p.m. Visitors can enjoy happy hour drinks and snacks available for purchase in the Great Hall, while taking in the Library’s beautiful architecture and exhibits.
Visitors can also experience the Main Reading Room during Live at the Library. This space, usually reserved for researchers, is now open to the public. However, due to its popularity and limited capacity, visitors with timed entry passes are not guaranteed access.
You can reserve your pass for Live at the Library here loc.gov/visit.
- Photo by Constant Loubier: instant images