The National Vietnam War Museum

The Vietnam Experience - Rembering, Honoring, Understandin

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12685 Mineral Wells Hwy, Weatherford, Texas
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Museum Location & Size

The National Vietnam War Museum site is situated on a twelve-acre site in western Parker County, Texas, just east of the city of Mineral Wells, approximately 40 minutes west of Fort Worth. The property is fronted by US Highway 180 and is just east of the entrance to Lake Mineral Wells State Park, the most visited state park in Texas.

above: Introduction to the purpose of
The National Vietnam War Museum
- by Roger Staubach

Plans for the property include approximately 50,000 square-feet of museum buildings with a significant portion of the remaining property devoted to multiple garden areas and outdoor exhibits.

Land Site Map - The National Vietnam War Museum

Museum Concepts

Visitors to The National Vietnam War Museum will find that exhibits are presented as a series of staged settings, much like a theatrical presentation. Instead of a traditional museum with aisles of cases, artifacts will be incorporated into the displays themselves. The various galleries will resemble "snapshots" of events relating to the United States' involvement in Vietnam. Visitors will find themselves transported into these scenarios that will take advantage of photographs, documents, and other graphic and audiovisual presentations to recreate the feelings associated with the presented events. Artifacts will be displayed as they were used, thus enhancing the realism of the setting, and providing visitors with more opportunities for reflection.

A timeline will guide visitors through the galleries, where they will be greeted at each "stage" by different "guides" representing a wide variety of people living during the Vietnam Era, from military personnel to protesters. Video kiosks will provide background information narration with film and still photograph displays.

Exhibit Layout

exhibit layout

Focal points listed by section in the diagram above

  1. Introduction
  2. Large Tactical Map
  3. Advisors' Camp
  4. Street Diorama
  5. Brown Water Navy & Tunnel Complex Diorama
  6. Field Commant Tent
  7. LBJ Multi-Television Console
  8. Negotiating Table
  9. Saigon Rooftop
  10. POW Color Guard
  11. Ft. Wolters Helicopter

Select an image below to enlarge...

Development Projects

The construction of the museum has been divided into five phases:

  • Phase I - Meditation, Contemplation, Vietnam Memorial Garden, Rock Creek Link Trail, and first half of east parking lot
  • Phase II -  Museum Service Center, Reflection Garden and the west half of the east parking lot
  • Phase III - Memorial Garden and north half of west parking lot.
  • Phase IV - Remembrance Garden and southern half of west parking lot
  • Phase V - Museum Building

Phase I

Phase I is complete and includes the Meditation Garden, the Contemplation Garden, the Vietnam Memorial Gardens, and the Rock Creek Link Trail and the first half of the east parking lot.

Phase II

Phase II includes the Museum Service Center, the Reflection Garden and the west half of the east parking lot.

The Museum Service Center will be approximately 60 x 80 feet in size and will contain an area for maintenance and restoration of museum artifacts, a storage area for maintenance equipment and supplies, offices and a storeroom for the maintenance department personnel. Until the main museum building is built, it will also house the musuem staff. This phase also includes the center's parking lot and the road network to access the center from Highway 180. The garden will be located on the south side of the parking lot and is now in the initial planning stage. It will contain the flags of the six allied countries that fought in the war, some large picnic tables and memorial bricks, tablets and monuments. It will also contain a special mounted exhibit.

Phase III

Phase III includes the Memorial Garden and the northern half of the west parking lot.

The Memorial Garden will contain walkways paved with memorial bricks honoring individuals. Placed throughout this garden will be larger tablets honoring various military units that served in Vietnam.

Phase IV

Phase IV includes Remembrance Garden and the southern half of the west parking lot.

The Remembrance Garden will contain an oral history trail where visitors may listen to reminiscences from previous visitors.

Phase V

Phase V is construction of the main Museum building.

Creating an Understanding of the Vietnam War Era

The National Vietnam War Museum seeks to create for each visitor an understanding of this era in history. Guests will be provided the opportunity to clear up the misconceptions that have arisen, over the years, about the Vietnam War. The exhibits will provide different viewpoints, encourage visitors to raise questions, and provide them with the information necessary to form their own opinions and challenge longstanding misunderstandings.

Just as the reflecting pool outside the building and the contemplative garden settings around the Museum provide for reflection, visitors will be aware of the many opportunities to reflect on the experiences they have within the museum. This opportunity will be built into the entire museum concept.

While we tend to think of the Vietnam War as being primarily a part of the 1960s, the Museum will show involvement that extends far beyond that decade. And the experience in Vietnam had far-reaching significance around the globe. This involvement and experience will be reflected in the various exhibits and galleries of The National Vietnam War Museum.

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