“The Way to Peace”

We were honored to partner with our friends of the State Records Management and Archives Department of Vietnam in the creation of the exhibit “Paris Peace Accords: The Way to Peace” which opened today in Hanoi. The exhibit uses textual records, film, photographs, and artifacts to tell the story leading to the negotiations which ended a war that divided the peoples of both countries.

Archivist David Ferriero at the opening of the “Paris Peace Accords: The Way to Peace” exhibit in Hanoi, Vietnam. Photo by Alice Kamps

We contributed facsimiles from the records of the State and Defense Departments and the Presidential Libraries of Lyndon Johnson, Richard Nixon, and Gerald Ford, including film footage.  A poignant letter to President Nixon by a child in 1970 urged him to “stop the war in Vietnam my cousin is in.  And I want the United States to settle down.”

As a veteran of the war myself, this was also a personal pilgrimage. It is my first time back in the country since early 1971 when I left Da Nang as a U.S. Navy Hospital Corpsman. In my year there I came to appreciate the beauty of the country and the kindness of the people.  And the common desire to end the fighting. So, for me, it was an emotional and joyful return.

After almost 50 years I am tremendously proud of our new friends in Vietnam as we explore collaborative opportunities beyond this exhibit.  We have much to learn from each other as we share access to our records; we are in the same business–collecting and protecting the records of our countries and, most importantly, encouraging the use of those records to learn from our past.

4 thoughts on ““The Way to Peace”

  1. David,

    Well done! What a great idea.

    Like you, my father was a Vietnam Veteran. As a Navy pilot he flew over 100 missions in Vietnam with 8,000 total flight hours. While he is no longer with us, I proudly display his patches, flight log and a model of the last plane he flew (EA6-B) in my office as a reminder of him.


  2. I am a veteran of the anti-war movement and I applaud David’s and the Archives’ collaboration with the Paris Peace Accords exhibit

  3. Was there in ’97. Beautiful country, wonderful food and people. What a fantastic event!

  4. David,

    Well done. This is very special.

    You may recall that, as a young U.S. Marine stationed at a Marine Barracks on Treasure Island in 1973, I was assigned to escort the body of PFC Mark J. Miller, the last Marine killed in Vietnam before the Paris Peace Accords went into effect on January 27, 1973. It will always be the privilege of a lifetime.


    Thank you for your service, David.


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