ST. CLOUD -- A world premiere is happening inside a downtown business this week. HomeFront Resource Center is screening their documentary film “Central Minnesota Remembers Vietnam” at 7:00 p.m. on Tuesday night at Pioneer Place on Fifth.

The film project, 18 months in the making, was inspired by Ken Burns’ 2017 documentary. Retired Major John Donovan says he hopes the film will open up a dialogue around the controversial conflict.

People have issues that are unresolved. Soldiers are, to this day, still feeling like they were forgotten by their country. So this program was an effort to get people to just start talking about this in the hopes that these conversations would bring healing, catharsis, understanding, and insight into these issues surrounding the Vietnam War.

HomeFront collaborated with the Stearns History Museum, St. Cloud Rotary, and Whitney Senior Center on the project.

Two Minnesota authors, a combat artist, and a group of musicians are among those that share their stories, music, and artifacts within the 22 minute run time.

Donovan says  Vietnam was considered the first rock 'n roll war because of the impact of music on the lives of anti-war protesters at home as well as soldiers overseas.

It was really quite surreal that these young soldiers, eighteen and nineteen years old, would be listening to rock 'n roll music on AM radio and then 72 hours later they would find themselves in Vietnam listening to the very same music they had just left hometown U.S.A. listening to. So these songs were a little piece of American culture.

The screening is free and open to the public. If you cannot make it, the video will be available on the HomeFront website following the event.

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