he New Jersey Vietnam Veterans’ Memorial Foundation (NJVVMF) is updating the sepia mural, a chronological history of popular culture and the conflict in Southeast Asia during the Vietnam Era, within the Vietnam Era Museum and Educational Center with the newest museum technology to help better tell the stories of the Vietnam Era. The museum and the gift shop will be closed through August, and the outside Memorial will remain free and open to the public 24 hours a day.
“Restoring the Museum’s centerpiece, our sepia mural, will give the space a much needed update and set us on the road to incorporating new technology into our existing exhibit as a way to remain relevant to the thousands of school children and teachers we work with each year,” said Sarah Taggart, NJVVMF Curator.
Average annual attendance to the Museum and Educational Center is 23,000, with school students and groups attending guided tours and informational sessions yearly.
The Vietnam Era Museum and Educational Center was the first museum of its kind in the United States. Dedicated in September 1998, the Museum provides political, cultural and historical context for the Memorial. It helps visitors gain an understanding of the conflict in Southeast Asia and the surrounding political strife in America and its lasting impact on American culture, with an emphasis on experiences in New Jersey.
The Museum enables visitors to learn about the different forces that produced the conflict abroad and the dissension at home. It provides an atmosphere where appropriate materials and exhibits help visitors understand the significance of the Memorial, the reality of the conflict, and the social, political and cultural complexities of the Vietnam Era.
“The renovations to the Museum and Educational Center are made possible due to the generous contributions of NJVVMF supporters,” said Bill Linderman, NJVVMF Executive Director. “Special thanks also goes to Governor Christie Whitman and the late John Whitman, as well as the New Jersey Department of Military and Veterans Affairs for making this project possible.”
The public can follow along with the progress on the Foundation’s Facebook page and website with updates on renovations as well as the pieces of history that shaped the Vietnam Era.