We all know that Vietnam War veterans did not receive a warm welcome when they returned home. Vietnam War Veterans Day, which is March 29th, was put into place to commemorate the sacrifices those veterans and their families made. Why March 29th? According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, the last combat troops were withdrawn, and the last American prisoners of war held in North Vietnam landed back on U.S. soil on that date in 1973. If you would like to learn more about the Vietnam War visit your library.

"Boots on the Ground: America's War in Vietnam" is available at the Detroit Lakes Public Library. (Courtesy photo)
"Boots on the Ground: America's War in Vietnam" is available at the Detroit Lakes Public Library. (Courtesy photo)


“Boots on the Ground: America’s War in Vietnam,” by Elizabeth Partridge. The history of this era is complex; the cultural impact extraordinary. But it's the personal stories of eight people—six American soldiers, one American military nurse, and one Vietnamese refugee—that create the heartbeat of Boots on the Ground. From dense jungles and terrifying firefights to chaotic helicopter rescues and harrowing escapes, each individual experience reveals a different facet of the war and moves us forward in time. Alternating with these chapters are profiles of key American leaders and events, reminding us of all that was happening at home during the war, including peace protests, presidential scandals, and veterans' struggles to acclimate to life after Vietnam.

"Vietnam: An Epic History of a Tragic War" is available at the Detroit Lakes public Library. (Courtesy photo)
"Vietnam: An Epic History of a Tragic War" is available at the Detroit Lakes public Library. (Courtesy photo)

“Vietnam: An Epic History of a Tragic War,” by Max Hastings. Many writers treat the war as a US tragedy, yet Hastings sees it as overwhelmingly that of the Vietnamese people, of whom 40 died for every American. US blunders and atrocities were matched by those committed by their enemies. While all the world has seen the image of a screaming, naked girl seared by napalm, it forgets countless eviscerations, beheadings, and murders carried out by the communists. The people of both former Vietnams paid a bitter price for the Northerners' victory in privation and oppression. Here is testimony from Vietcong guerrillas, Southern paratroopers, Saigon bar girls, and Hanoi students alongside that of infantrymen from South Dakota, Marines from North Carolina, and Huey pilots from Arkansas.

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Library facilities closed to public, online services are not

While the Detroit Lakes Public Library and all other Lake Agassiz Regional Library locations are closed due to the coronavirus pandemic, much of what we offer is still available online! I encourage you to visit larl.org and explore the thousands of downloadable eBooks and eAudiobooks, the many free research tools for students of all ages and free genealogy research tools, plus much more!

Plus, if you don’t have a library card, I’m thrilled to share that Lake Agassiz Regional Library is now offering online library card applications! To get started, visit larl.org/applyonline.

Please keep any materials you currently have checked out at home until the library reopens. We are not charging any fees or fines during this time. We appreciate your concern and support during this time and hope you'll take advantage of the many virtual resources offered by the library.