Vet project

The Brooklyn Paper
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Everyone’s heard war stories, but until you’ve seen the Brooklyn Historical Society’s “In Our Own Words: Portraits of Brooklyn Vietnam Veterans,” which opened Dec. 14, you haven’t really heard anything.

Using the oral history of 16 Brooklynites who served in the Vietnam War, including Bernard Edelman, editor of “Dear America: Letters Home from Vietnam,” the exhibit will feature visual art — 8-foot, gold-framed portraits of the veterans, including Joan Furey (pictured), a nurse from Flatbush — and will have an audio component as well.

“This exhibit is the first to be installed in our Oral History Gallery, where our mission is to tell stories of Brooklynites from a first-person perspective,” said Kate Fermoile, the BHS’s vice president for exhibits and education.

“Generally at museums, you’ll find artwork and artifacts, but with this exhibition, we’re going to be using oral history as the primary source to tell our story,” said Fermoile. “The objects are secondary.”

Each portrait will be accompanied by a three- to five-minute snippet of the veteran’s hours-long story, which can be accessed in full at a kiosk in the exhibit hall, making for a stunning collection.

“In Our Own Words,” will be on display through December 2008 at the Brooklyn Historical Society (128 Pierrepont St. at Clinton Street in Brooklyn Heights). Admission is $6. For information, call (718) 222-4111 or visit

Updated 4:00 pm, November 10, 2010
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