Bethel DelawareUnited States
Veterans Day is Nov. 11, and the trustees of the Bethel Museum invite the public to celebrate this important reminder of what service men and women sacrificed to protect the nation, focusing on the Vietnam War and those Delawareans who served in that conflict.
The exhibit, which is a unique look at the last five years of the Vietnam War through Delaware troops’ war letters and pictures, is front and center at the Bethel Heritage Museum in October and November.
Sponsored by the Bethel Historical Society and curated by the Delaware Public Archives, Vietnam Mailbag: The Exhibit will be on view at the museum, 312 First St., Bethel, and will feature nearly a dozen story panels that depict Vietnam veterans’ trials during that contentious, undeclared war.
Journalist Nancy E. Lynch, a Bethel resident, knows the narratives well and in 2008 documented their hopes and fears, humor and tears in her award-winning social history, "Vietnam Mailbag, Voices From the War: 1968-1972."
Her 456-page book features nearly 1,000 letters and hundreds of pictures from her popular newspaper column, Nancy’s Vietnam Mailbag, which were received from the front lines when she was a reporter for The News Journal in Wilmington.
Her column afforded service members an unparalleled opportunity to sound off and let those at home know where they stood on issues ranging from the war to the weather; it is believed to have been the only war correspondence column of its kind in the country.
In her final column in December 1972, Lynch promised “her guys” she would someday put all their war letters and pictures in a book to honor them and all Vietnam veterans.
In 2009, "Vietnam Mailbag" won the first-place gold medal from Independent Publisher for Best Non-Fiction in the Mid-Atlantic, which covers six states and the District of Columbia.
Lynch will be at the museum to discuss the story panels, her book and a war memorabilia display from 2 to 4 p.m., Oct. 13 and 27, and Nov. 10 and 17. Her book, which she will autograph and personalize, will be available for $40 as well as a companion DVD for $10.
To learn more about the exhibit and Vietnam Mailbag, go to www.VietnamMailbag.com or call Nancy Lynch at 302-381-5993.