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About the Film

In an immersive narrative, Burns and Novick tell the epic story of the Vietnam War as it has never before been told on film. THE VIETNAM WAR features testimony from nearly 100 witnesses, including many Americans who fought in the war and others who opposed it, as well as Vietnamese combatants and civilians from both sides. The film will premiere September 17, 2017, on SDPB-TV and on PBS stations nationwide.

Ten years in the making, the series brings the war and the chaotic epoch it encompassed viscerally to life. Written by Geoffrey C. Ward, produced by Sarah Botstein, Novick and Burns, it includes rarely seen, digitally re-mastered archival footage from sources around the globe, photographs taken by some of the most celebrated photojournalists of the 20th century, historic television broadcasts, evocative home movies, and revelatory audio recordings from inside the Kennedy, Johnson and Nixon administrations.

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Visit The Wall That Heals August 10-13 at the rest area/information center just off I-90 at Chamberlain (Exit 264).

On Veterans Day 1996, the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund (VVMF) unveiled a half-scale replica of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington, D.C., designed to travel to communities throughout the United States. Since its dedication, The Wall That Heals has visited more than 400 cities and towns throughout the nation, spreading the Memorial's healing legacy to millions.

Bringing The Wall home to communities throughout the US allows the souls enshrined on the Memorial to exist once more among family and friends in the peace and comfort of familiar surroundings. The traveling exhibit provides thousands of veterans who have been unable to cope with the prospect of facing The Wall to find the strength and courage to do so within their own communities, thus allowing the healing process to begin.

The exhibit includes The Wall replica and the mobile Education Center.

South Dakota Vietnam Stories

SD Vietnam Stories: Retired Colonel Marty Mahart

Posted by Heather Benson on

As we prepare for the Ken Burns landmark documentary series “The Vietnam War”, we meet South Dakotans whose lives were forever changed by the conflict, the politics, the music, and the protests. Today we meet Retired Colonel Marty Mahart. He's the cofounder of Operation Black Hills Cabin. His a retired combat pilot who served two tours in Vietnam.

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SD Vietnam Stories: Jim Dugan on War Dogs

Last Updated by Heather Benson on

"Dogs exhibit heroism under fire in extreme combat," says Jim Dugan (USAF ret) of Rapid City who spoke with SDPB's Lori Walsh about the role of dogs in Vietnam.

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SD Vietnam Stories: Sculptor Darwin Wolf

Last Updated by Heather Benson on

Sculptor Darwin Wolf spoke with us about his bronze sculpture of Medal of Honor recipient Michael J. Fitzmaurice. From the role of monuments, to the challenges of working with a living subject, Wolf explores the nuances of art in bronze and art in our lives.

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Volunteer Opportunities

We need your assistance! The Wall That Heals is open to the public 24-hours-a-day from August 9 at 8:00pm through August 13 at 4:00pm. SDPB needs volunteers to offer visitor assistance at The Wall. You do not need to be a veteran or have any special knowledge of the Vietnam War or the Wall – training and materials will be provided. If you have some time to spare any time of day or night please call our volunteer coordinator: Ann Thiel 605-234-6049 or email

Motorcycle Escort

Do you ride? We need you! The Wall That Heals will be escorted from Mitchell to Chamberlain by veteran cyclists. We’ll meet in the south parking lot at Cabela’s in Mitchell at 9:00am Wednesday, August 9 with a briefing at 9:45am. The ride takes place beginning at 10:00am and will follow a route that takes us along Old Highway 16. We’ll arrive at the rest area in Chamberlain at about 11:30am.

Thank You to Our Supporters

Funding for THE VIETNAM WAR is provided by Bank of America; Corporation for Public Broadcasting; PBS; David H. Koch; The Blavatnik Family Foundation; Park Foundation; The Arthur Vining Davis Foundations; The John S. and James L. Knight Foundation; The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation; National Endowment for the Humanities; The Pew Charitable Trusts; Ford Foundation Just Films; Rockefeller Brothers Fund; and members of The Better Angels Society: Jonathan & Jeannie Lavine, Diane & Hal Brierley, Amy & David Abrams, John & Catherine Debs, Fullerton Family Charitable Fund, The Montrone Family, Lynda & Stewart Resnick, The Golkin Family Foundation, The Lynch Foundation, The Roger & Rosemary Enrico Foundation, Richard S. & Donna L. Strong Foundation, Bonnie & Tom McCloskey, Barbara K. & Cyrus B. Sweet III, The Lavender Butterfly Fund.

Local support for The Vietnam War comes from Black Hills Energy, Scull Construction Services Inc and Sanford Health.

THE VIETNAM WAR is a production of Florentine Films and WETA, Washington, DC. Directed by Ken Burns and Lynn Novick. Written by Geoffrey C. Ward. Produced by Sarah Botstein, Lynn Novick and Ken Burns.