Tomorrow, March 29th, 2023, marks an important anniversary. Fifty years ago United States troops completed their departure from Vietnam, and the last group of prisoners of war were freed.
A powerful exhibit at the Coronado Historical Association museum remembers the POWs who returned to freedom, and tells their moving stories. It’s titled Open Doors: Vietnam POWs Fifty Years of Freedom.
I wandered about the museum today and tried to imagine the horror. Displays recalled how prisoners of war in Vietnam suffered. It had been a struggle to merely survive.
I then gazed at portraits of freed POWs and read the accompanying profiles. I saw how differently each man adjusted to life after their experience.
Many successfully returned to a more “normal” life. Many, having risen out of hell, experienced a strengthened sense of purpose.
As the exhibition description states: Open Doors is a testament to the strength of the human spirit and the power of human will, it is also a celebration of that second chance at freedom.
This same exhibit originally debuted in Coronado 20 years ago. Today, after traveling around the nation, it has returned.
Visitors are reminded that we all have the capacity for extraordinary strength.
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