Pictures of war bring rush of emotions
George Thompson of Manchester looks over one of the Vietnam War photographs on display at the Currier Museum of Art. (BRUCE PRESTON/UNION LEADER)
Roger "10K" Gosselin of Manchester looks over one of the photographs on display at the Currier Museum of Art in Manchester in the special exhibition "Visual Dispatches from Vietnam War". The exhibition presents 35 iconic photographs that brought the Vietnam War to the dinner table of every American household. Visual Dispatches from the Vietnam War will be on view at the Museum now through November 11, 2013. Among the photographers represented in the exhibition are: Horst Faas, Henri Huet, Eddie Adams, Larry Burrows and Don McCullin. The exhibition also includes original Associated Press (AP) typewritten dispatches that photographers and their editors wrote from the Saigon office to explain the context of each image to stateside editors. (Bruce Preston / Union Leader)
They include some of the most widely remembered photographs of the war — a young girl fleeing a napalm attack on her village; a South Vietnamese general summarily executing a Viet Cong assassin with a pistol; the 1963 photograph of Buddist monk Thick Quam Duc's self-immolation, a photograph taken by Malcolm Browne of the Associated Press who died in a New Hampshire hospital last year; and a picture of a shell-shocked Marine staring straight ahead during the siege on the city of Hue during the 1968 Tet offensive, a picture that has come to be an iconic reflection of the psychological impact of the war.
Many veterans who have seen the exhibit since it opened in August have taken members of their families with them.
Victoria Hayes toured the exhibit with her father, Laurence Kelly of Milton Mills.
"I have not spoken about the harshness," Kelly said.
Jim Corvatis of Manchester, a former Marine who served in Vietnam, comforted many veterans and family members as they viewed the photographs.
Gina Bonti sobbed seeing pictures of war, while reflecting on her son's experiences as a Marine in a recent war.
It was important, she said, for her daughter to see the exhibit to provide context to the history books that are cold and clinical in telling of the story of war.
"It was overwhelming," said Megan Bonti, 14. "I walk in and look at the pictures and finally see what really went on."