On the 50th anniversary of the Tet Offensive, Lt. Col. (ret.) Thomas Dombrowsky a Vietnam War combat veteran and Adjunct Professor, Gettysburg College, asks what we have learned: the trauma of veterans was not so much outright hostility as disinterest or silence; we should not blame the soldiers for bad policy; and, above all, we need to think beyond the end of hostilities so that winning the peace becomes as important as winning the war. On the positive side, he notes that two American presidents, Obama and Trump, have visited Viet Nam.
Dr. Dennis Onieal discussed the events of 9/11 as a first responder. the former head of the Jersey City Fire Department and currently Deputy U.S. Fire Administrator for the U.S. Fire Administration, was called to help following the attack. He discussed the clean-up effort and the responsibility of civilians during such a crisis. He called attention to the issues that were not publicized but essential in the recovery effort. In addition, he talked about the post-9/11 changes in instruction for policemen, firefighters, etc. in responding to attacks. In addition, he shared how he handled his own feelings after working at the 9/11 site.
In this episode Dr. Scott Hancock discusses the work of the historian. In particular he talks about his research interest in the African American experience and the Underground Railroad. While it is part of the 19th century, the underground railroad continues in our times with people crossing borders, human trafficking, etc. In addition, he discussed the state monuments on the battlefield and what they are teaching and saying to onlookers.
Florida-based artist and sculptor Sean McGraw joins Katy Giebenhain for a conversation about his work and perspectives during his second Gettysburg residency awarded through The National Park Arts Foundation. The classically-trained artist and founder of Historical Sculpture LLC is living on the Battlefield from May 15-June 15, 2018. McGraw is focusing on WWI soldiers as well as Civil War soldiers. He sketches at the Eisenhower Farm and interacts with visitors in addition to researching the 100th anniversary of the U.S.’s major offenses of Argonne and St. Mihiel, studying doughboys training in Gettysburg and France. The Artist-in-Residence program brings artists working in a wide variety of media to the site of the Battle of Gettysburg. It is made possible by the Gettysburg Foundation and The National Park Arts Foundation, with support from the National Park Service.
Thanks to our host site for this interview, Waldo’s and Co. on the square: www.waldosandco.com . Waldo's warmly welcomes the Park's artists-in-residence to Gettysburg.
Justine Odila talks about his journey from the Democratic Republic of the Congo to the United States. While in the Congo, he worked to help child soldiers to return to school, their families and mental stability as well as helping other young children to not become soldiers in the first place. This work resulted in him being arrested but he escaped to Zambia where he lived in a refugee camp for 17 years where he carried assisting those around him. After a 5-year vetting process, he was finally able to come to the United States via a resettlement program. He presently works at Walmart, works part-time as a mental health counselor, and attends classes at the community college.
To learn more about the Democratic Republic of the Congo you can begin here:
Chip Beck is not only a veteran and an artist, he is also a combat artist with global experience who has rendered these experiences first-hand. His academic training is in political science, but he has been capturing what he sees on paper and other surfaces since he was a small child. Beck is an artist-in-residence at the Gettysburg National Military Park. He joins Katy Giebenhain for a conversation about “stone soldiers” and his current time on Gettysburg’s battlefield.
Often one party receives more votes for congress or the legislature and ends up with fewer representatives. The reason is “gerrymandering”: shaping voting districts to favor one party or the other. Steven Niebler, Coordinator, Fair Districts, Adams County, a Sub-group of Fair Districts, Pennsylvania, argues that the key to this unbalance is that elected officials choose their own voters. “Fair Districts,” a non-partisan advocacy group, proposes an eleven-member commission, chosen partly at random and partly by serious vetting, to set impartial boundaries.
Texas-based graphic designer Cesar Rivera joins Katy Giebenhain from Seminary Ridge Review for a conversation about the Pickett’s Charge flag capture of Corporal Joseph De Castro, artifact books, working as much color theory as possible into classes and ways in which all designers are educators. Rivera was an artist-in-residence at the Gettysburg National Military Park.
Dr. Jill Titus, Associate Director, Civil War Institute at Gettysburg College and the author of Brown’s Battleground suggests that we often misunderstand historical monuments, thinking they are “history” when they are really interpretations of history. As such, they become opportunities for conversation, study, communication and reflection. When deciding the fate of such monuments, context is critical. The New Orleans monument was clearly offensive, but many others should be retained as markers of our self-understanding as Americans.
The producers would like to note that this episode was recorded on July 7th 2017, a month before the tragic events in Charlottesville, Virginia surrounding the Robert E. Lee statue and related protests and counter protests.
United Lutheran Seminary expresses deepest sympathy for the those killed and injured in Charlottesville. Please take a moment to read the written response to the events in Charlottesville.
We also encourage our listeners to revisit the episode titled “Not waiting for the Hero” to hear an example of a unique form of non-violent counter protest that was carried out 10 years ago under similar circumstances.
Gettysburg National Military Park Artist-in-Residence Brian Emery joins Katy Giebenhain from Seminary Ridge Review in a conversation about his “experimental documentary” adventures on and around the Gettysburg National Military Park. The FIT photography professor shares from his experiences as an introvert in public spaces capturing voices (including the voices of birds) images and stories from past and current history.