War Comes Home: The Legacy at Museum of SRV

Exhibition Features Correspondence Revealing How War Changes Lives, Families, Communities

Highlighting private correspondence from almost every major conflict in U.S. history, new exhibition War Comes Home: The Legacy opens on January 29, 2017 at the Museum of the San Ramon Valley. The traveling exhibition, rich with historic and contemporary letters, offers an intimate perspective into the thoughts and emotions of veterans and their families upon a soldier’s homecoming.

War Comes Home: The Legacy is part of Cal Humanities’ current War Comes Home initiative, a thematic program designed to promote greater understanding of veterans and explore how war shapes a community. The exhibition is based on the work of the Center for American War Letters (CAWL) and is presented by Exhibit Envoy. Andrew Carroll, the Director of CAWL and an award-winning and New York Times bestselling author, and John Benitz, Associate Professor in the Department of Theatre at Chapman University, co-curated the exhibition.

The exhibition explores the joys and hardships that returning soldiers and their families face during homecoming, as expressed through private letters and email correspondence. Spanning conflicts from the Civil War through the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq and displayed on thirteen interpretive panels, War Comes Home: The Legacy explores the shared themes of wartime separation, the adjustment to life back at home, and the costs of war. As Staff Sergeant Parker Gyokeres writes, “Those of us coming back…are not looking for sympathy. We might be reluctant at first to talk about what we’ve been through…[but] your support has made this journey an incredible one…Thanks, above all, for listening.”

 This exhibition runs through April 9, 2017 and offers the following Special Programs:

World War l: Two Perspectives

February 9th  7PM  Veterans’ Memorial Building

Two historians will discuss the First World War from the European and American viewpoints. What events and decisions led into the war and how did it become a global conflict? Why did the United States become involved? What was the ordinary person’s view of the war? How did it change society? What were the results of 4 years of conflict? Hear these and other viewpoints and have the opportunity to ask our experts as we remember the 100th anniversary of The Great War.

Sweetheart Jewelry, Love Tokens and Mementos

February 11  10:30AM  The Museum of the San Ramon Valley

Marcia Harmon owner of “Cottage Jewel” and fashion and jewelry historian will present a hands on lecture on jewelry, tokens and remembrances from war time in American history from the 19th Century to Today.

War Letters

February 23rd   7PM  Veterans’ Memorial Building

The award winning PBS program “War Letters” will be shown followed by a discussion of how letters convey the thoughts and emotions of war from the battlefield to the home front and back.

“How I wish that we could be together…”

March 1st  7PM  Veterans’ Memorial Building

A panel of veterans and their families will talk about their experience of war, family separation, concern and worry, coming home and adjusting to peacetime. From World War Two until today we will hear these experiences first hand and be able to share in the thoughts.

An Ordinary Year, An Extraordinary Time

March 16th  7PM  Veterans’ Memorial Building

Author, photographer and Vietnam veteran, Steve Burchik will share his photographs and memories of being a forward observer with the 1st Infantry Division in Vietnam from June 1968 to June of 1969. This talk accompanies an exhibition of his photographs at The Museum of the San Ramon Valley and the Veterans’ Memorial Building in Danville. Book signing will follow the talk.

“Think of Me Often”

April 7th  7PM  Danville Library

“War Comes Home” will have a final send off with an evening of poetry, readings and music at the Danville Library. “Clarinet Fusion” with entertain and bring back memories with music from the Civil War until today.  

 Museum of the San Ramon Valley, 205 Railroad Avenue, Danville, CA 94526, museumsrv.org,(925)837-3750.

Museum Hours:

Tuesday – Friday: 1pm – 4pm

Saturday: 10am – 1pm

Sunday: noon – 3pm

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