The Vietnam Peace Commemoration Committee (VPCC) seeks to tell the truth and learn the lessons of the US war in Indochina, and of the broad, diverse protest movement that ended the war.
The 50th anniversary of the Vietnam War (2015-2025) provides a unique moment to look back at the most unpopular war in American history, and the powerful movement that worked to stop it, both to ensure that the truth is told and that the lessons learned are shared in order to avoid becoming entangled in similar disastrous interventions.
The Vietnam Peace Commemoration Committee (VPCC) was formed by long-time anti-war activists in September 2014 primarily in response to the Pentagon’s announcement of a 10 year public program to retell the story of the Vietnam War and commemorate Vietnam veterans on the war’s 50th anniversary. After receiving Congressional funding in 2008, the Pentagon began preparations for its public relations campaign, including thousands of local events, which it started rolling out in 2015.
The focus of the VPCC was to monitor the commemoration activities of the Pentagon, challenge them when necessary, and publicly elevate the role of the anti-war movement in ending the war. Our efforts to confront the Pentagon’s self-serving war timeline resulted in a New York Times article in November 2016 entitled Activists Call for Realistic Portrayal of Vietnam War on Pentagon Website, and led to the Pentagon’s partial rewrite of its Vietnam timeline. One example: the timeline initially glossed over the tragic My Lai Massacre, calling it the "My Lai Incident".
We organized the Power of Protest conference in Washington, D.C., May 1-2, 2015, on the 40th anniversary of the end of the war. The conference brought together 600 Vietnam war activists to honor their experiences and discuss implications for opposition to future unwarranted military interventions. View videos of the full the event and excerpted and complete interviews of participants. Tom Hayden captured the theme and spirit of the gathering in eloquent opening and closing speeches.
In April 2017, on the 50th anniversary of Dr. Martin Luther King's powerful sermon opposing the Vietnam War, we coordinated over 40 local events and cooperated with other groups to generate local programs across the country.
For more on past VPCC activities, click on "Past Events" on the main navigation menu.
VPCC Committee & Staff
VPCC is largely a volunteer run effort with part-time staff based in Washington, DC, and committee members around the country who meet largely by phone on a weekly basis.
VPCC’s initial organizing committee members through 2016 were: Tom Hayden, Julian Bond, Heather Booth, Sally Benson, John McAuliff, Ira Arlook, Marge Tabankin, Susan Hammond, David Cortright, Sophie Quinn-Judge and Paul Ryder. Staff was composed of Terry Provance, Alan Charney and Barbara Helmick.
Current VPCC committee members are: John McAuliff, Sally Benson, David Cortright, Susan Hammond, Frank Joyce, Anne Gallivan, Brewster Rhoads, Steve Ladd, Susanne Jackson, Paul Lauter, and Nancy Woodside. Part-time staff is Terry Provance.
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