The Greenbrier Historical Society is pleased to welcome author Wess Harris on Wednesday, May 14 at 7 p.m. Harris will speak about his book Cross the Pond: Vietnam Vets Uncensored as part of the 2014 Spring Lecture Series.
Wess Harris is an educator and farmer from Roane County. A former miner he has focused for nearly a decade on the history of West Virginia miners and their Union. Recognized as a West Virginia History Hero several years back, Harris is editor of two other books, When Miners March and Dead Ringers.
In the spring of 2014, Cross the Pond was released. This one of a kind oral history of Vietnam Era vets was first collected and printed as a class project in 1977. Harris was teaching at a small business college and virtually all of the students were recently discharged from the military. While to this day Vietnam Veterans tend to avoid speaking candidly about the actual experience of the war, 50 individuals shared their uncensored stories and agreed to have them published in this book. The incredible collection is an invaluable resource for future generations who never confronted the realities of war or the prospect of military conscription. Many veterans chose – perhaps wisely – to avoid reading these tales, but it is a must-read for non-vets seeking to understand and help those who have been there.
Other lectures in the 2014 Spring Lecture series include: Art and Lee Beltrone on May 19 speaking about the discovery and research behind the exhibit Marking Time: Voyage to Vietnam; and Lynn Salsi on May 28 discussing her book Firefight on the Vietnam Brown Water.
The lectures will be held at the New River Community and Technical College Auditorium, located at 101 Church Street in Lewisburg. These lectures are being presented with partial financial assistance from the WV Humanities Council, a state affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities.
Admission to each lecture is Pay What You Can. All proceeds will benefit the many and varied programs of the Greenbrier Historical Society. For more information, contact GHS at 304-645-3398 or .