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November 5, 2005

Special Focus on Vietnam at Farmingdale State

The Distinguished Speakers Program at Farmingdale State is holding a three-day program from November 9-11, focusing on the Vietnam War. Titled "Undeclared Wars: Special Focus on Vietnam," there will be a tribute to veterans on the third day. All events are free and the public is welcome.

On Wednesday, November 9, three speakers will discuss their experiences as they relate to the Vietnam War in the University Club in Knapp Hall:

  • At 11:00 a.m. the first speaker will be Lana Noone, a classical flutist, who will talk about her participation in "The Vietnam Babylift" which began in the spring of 1975. Lana Noone received the Vietnam Babylift Recognition Award from the African-American Cultural Council. Ms. Noone is writing a film script based on her book Global Mom: Notes From a Pioneer Adoptive Family. Ms. Noone has been selected to receive the Vietnam Veterans of America Foundation's Humanitarian of the Year Torch Award, to be presented on November 10, 2005 by Vietnam Veteran/Senator Bob Kerrey. Please visit the Foundation's website at www.vvaf.org for complete details.

  • The second speaker, at 2:00 p.m., is Karen Turner, who will introduce the film Hidden Warriors: Women on the Ho Chi Minh Trail and lead a discussion after it. Karen Turner is a professor of History at Holy Cross and Senior Research Fellow in East Asian Legal Studies at Harvard Law School, where her research focuses on Vietnamese women and Chinese law.  Dr. Turner was in the first group of American students to live and work in the People's Republic of China after the communist revolution. Her books include Even the Women Must Fight: Memories of War from North Vietnam.


  • The third speaker, Joe Haldeman, will speak at 7:30 p.m. in the University Club in Knapp Hall. The title of his talk is "War Stories -- Personal Experiences of the Vietnam War." Joe Haldeman sold his first story in 1969, while he was still in the army, and he has been writing ever since. Two of his novels, War Year and 1968, are directly about the Vietnam War, and several of his science fiction novels approach the experience metaphorically—notably The Forever War, Forever Peace, and Forever Free. The Forever War and Forever Peace won both the Nebula and Hugo Awards.
Joe Haldeman
Joe Haldeman

On Thursday, November 10, Bruce Weigl will read his poems on the Vietnam War at 11:00 a.m. in Roosevelt Hall's Little Theatre. A reading from The Circle of Hahn, his memoir of returning to Vietnam to adopt his daughter, will be held at 2:00 p.m. in the Ward Hall Great Room. Bruce Weigl is the author of twelve collections of poetry, including, most recently, The Unraveling Strangeness. He has translated Vietnamese and Romanian poetry and has edited or co-edited three collections of criticism, among them, Between the Lines: Writing on War and its Social Consequences. Among his many literary honors is an award for "contributions to American Culture" from the Vietnam Veterans of America.

On Friday, November 11, the final day of this Special Focus, a "Tribute to Vietnam Vets" will be held at 11:00 a.m. in the Roosevelt Hall Little Theatre. There will be a color guard, a display of flags of the various military services, a presentation of a plaque to Farmingdale State for its recognition and support of Vietnam Veterans. This plaque will be presented to Farmingdale State president Dr. Jonathan Gibralter by the president of Chapter 11 – Suffolk County Vietnam Veterans of America, Richard Kitson.

All are welcome to attend.