Local high school students seek Vietnam veteran’s stories for oral history project


Special to the
Opelika Observer

To mark the 50th anniversary of the Vietnam War and 200 years of statehood, Auburn High School students invite Alabama veterans of the Vietnam War to join them as they seek to document the history of Alabama’s Vietnam War service.
On April 26, the school will host Vietnam veterans for oral history interviews in an effort to honor their service and preserve their story. Those who wish to share stories of their service can reserve an interview for 10 a.m., 12:30 p.m. and 2 p.m.
Auburn High School history teacher Dr. Blake Busbin explained participation in oral history interviews offers an opportunity for reflection and remembrance for those sharing, in addition to providing a chance for students to gain a greater understanding of the Vietnam War through the veteran’s eyes.
“These interviews allow veterans and students to come together in an intimate conversation passing on the history of our nation from one generation to another,” Busbin said. “The Vietnam War was one of the most consequential events of the 20th century for America, yet it remains a period of time that is highly misunderstood, with the stories of those who served often going unnoted.”
Interviews are audio-recorded and last between an hour to 90 minutes. Two or three students will lead the interview process, allowing them to become the historians that day. After concluding a month-long study of Vietnam, students worked with professional historians to build their interview skills before leading the oral history session. Questions are carefully crafted to allow veterans to respond with the memories they wish to share. In addition to participating, veterans will receive a copy of their interview and a copy will be archived with the Library of Congress Veterans History Project.
Auburn High is an official partner of the Department of Defense Vietnam War Commemoration program and participating veterans who have not already been so recognized will be presented with the 50th anniversary commemoration lapel pin. Interviews have been officially endorsed by the Alabama Bicentennial Commission.
For more information or to sign up for an interview, email Busbin at wbbusbin@auburnschools.org or call Auburn High School at 334-887-2120. The school is located at 1701 E. Samford Ave.


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