“I realized then that surviving the peace was up to me.”
We are sad to share the news that Jim Northrup, a talented Ojibwe author, Vietnam veteran and a good friend who was an important part of the LZ Lambeau: Welcoming Home Wisconsin’s Vietnam Veterans project has passed away.
Last year on WPT’s University Place, researchers from the University of Wisconsin-Madison outlined their search for the missing remains of United States Army Private Lawrence Gordon who was killed in action at Normandy in World War II.
Through their work, his remains have been found and positively identified in France and are arriving in Wisconsin Wednesday afternoon with a full escort of honor guards, the Wisconsin State Patrol and Wisconsin Patriot Guard Riders for a forensic examination that will further help his family learn more about how he perished in battle.
Private Gordon will then travel to his final resting place in Saskatchewan.
My grandfather was drafted to serve in World War II soon after his 18th birthday. After leaving his Michigan home to undergo training, he boarded a ship and spent the entirety of his deployment on the water, sending and receiving Morse code messages and relaying the most urgent memos to the ship’s captain. His stories are vibrant, to say the least.
Every veteran has a unique story to tell, and each of their stories can come alive when they’re given the chance to tell them. While it’s true that historians have a plethora of knowledge, nothing can compare to hearing history narrated by those who lived it.
If you share my appreciation of first-hand stories, tune into WPT 7 p.m. Wednesday, June 4 for Day of Days: June 6, 1944 to witness four D-Day veterans share their accounts of the Normandy landing. Watch the foursome converse at the Museum of World War II in Natick, Massachusetts, sharing stories from the initial amphibious invasion to the battle’s aftermath.
Expect to be both enlightened and inspired by this compendium of poignant interviews that commemorates the 70th anniversary of the biggest armada in history.
Over the years, Wisconsin Public Television has remained committed to supporting veterans through projects like the Wisconsin War Stories documentaries and LZ Lambeau, which welcomed home Wisconsin’s Vietnam veterans.
Our support continues tonight as we join Army combat veteran Wes Moore in search of answers to some of the most difficult questions facing those returning from war. The powerful three-part series, Coming Back With Wes Moore, premieres tonight at 7 on Wisconsin Public Television.
Over the next three Tuesdays, look into the personal lives of several soldiers as they attempt to reintegrate back into society, establish new identities and – for many – find a new mission.
Don’t miss your chance to join your fellow Americans in a nation-wide event honoring our veterans. This is a tremendous opportunity that brings us all together for a chance to say thank you to all of those who sacrificed so much so that we can continue living in this great country.
I’m not sure there are words capable of expressing how much it means to live in a country where we have rights and freedom. I think it’s too easy to get caught up in our busy lives and forget what life might be like in other places in the world. It’s a shame that we take so many things for granted, but luckily there will always be someone to remind us how good we have it.
This Memorial Day weekend, WPT continues a two-decades-long tradition of honoring the service and sacrifice of all our men and women in uniform, and their families by broadcasting the National Memorial Day Concert from Washington D.C. Hosts Gary Sinise and Joe Mantegna return to lead a star-filled concert with performances by Daughtry, Natalie Cole and American Idol’s Jessica Sanchez.
The performances are nice, but the program shines brightest when the focus shifts to honoring active soldiers, veterans and their families. This year, the concert will tell the story of a young widow who lost her husband in Afghanistan, take an in-depth look at the plight of homeless veterans, and honor the 42 million men and women who have served in all U.S. wars and conflicts. Similarly, last year’s concert focused on the organization Sons and Daughters in Touch whose mission is to locate, unite and provide support to sons, daughters and other family members of those who died or remain missing as a result of the Vietnam War. (See the video below).
We give you two times to watch the National Memorial Day concert. Tune in 7 p.m. Sunday as you prepare for your Memorial Day or enjoy the encore at 10:30 p.m. Monday when you wind down from the long weekend. No matter how you honor and celebrate veterans this weekend, I wish you a safe and happy Memorial Day.
Watch Vietnam War Stories at 8 p.m. Friday, Nov. 11 on Wisconsin Public Television.
Last year, WPT premiered the Emmy Award-winning Wisconsin Vietnam War Stories documentary. That three-part film featured interviews with Wisconsin Vietnam veterans who shared emotional stories about service and sacrifice.
Now, the whole nation gets a chance to hear these stories in the special one-hour Vietnam War Stories program. Culled from the three-hour documentary, this new program also features Wisconsin veterans telling stories that they’ll never forget. Watch a short preview below and explore bonus footage, expanded resources and photographer James Gill’s portraits of Wisconsin Vietnam Veterans (One of those photos, of Will Williams, is posted above right) when you visit this website.