The Chandler Public Library series, “America in Times of Conflict,” debuts Saturday, Nov. 5, featuring speakers, discussion groups, authors and films that explore the nation’s history and culture during wartime. The programs, offered in collaboration with the Chandler Senior Center, Chandler Museum and Chandler Center for the Arts, will offer regional insights to make the topic more relevant to attendees and will run through April.
The series kicks off with “Courageous Stories of Arizona Military Aviators,” a presentation that features helicopter pilots who served in Vietnam, Iraq and Afghanistan, moderated by retired Navy Cmdr. Martin Sepulveda, a former Chandler City councilman and a candidate for Congress. The presentation will be held 10 a.m. to noon at the Chandler Council Chambers in the City Hall Complex, 175 S. Arizona Ave., in conjunction with the Safety and Veterans Expo.
Panelists include Maj. Fred Ferguson, who flew a UH-1 Huey in Vietnam and was the first Army aviator to be awarded the Medal of Honor for his acts of courage. Also sharing the stage are Lt. Col. Tom Waldron, an Air Force helicopter pilot involved in the 1970 Son Tay Raid in North Vietnam, and Maj. Bryan Martyn, an Air Force Apache helicopter pilot who flew in Desert Storm, and later, two tours in Afghanistan.
“Many of our Chandler residents are veterans or families of veterans,” said Brenda Brown, community services director. “Past programs on these topics have resulted in high attendance and requests to provide more history on how war has affected our country.”
Musical medley program
The program continues with the Jan Sandwich Show, a musical medley of patriotic songs, at the Chandler Senior Center, 202 E. Boston St., 10 a.m. to 11 a.m. Monday, Nov. 7.
Those interested in film and discussion can attend “Film + Forum – On Two Fronts: Latinos and Vietnam,” 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 9, at the Chandler Sunset Library, 4930 W. Ray Rd. Sponsored by the Arizona Humanities Council, the film is about the Latino experience during the Vietnam War and will be followed by a moderated discussion.
Vivid and poignant memories of Chandler men who served in World War II will be presented through dramatic readings by actor Mike Traylor at the program, “In My Own Words: Memories of World War II,” 10 a.m. to noon Saturday, Nov. 19, at the Chandler Hamilton Library. The readings will be followed by a showing of the 1943 movie, “Guadalcanal Diary,” the story of a large U.S. Marine invasion task force bound for Guadalcanal in the Solomon Islands. This presentation is a partnership between Chandler Public Library and Chandler Museum.
America in Times of Conflict is made possible through a grant from the Arizona State Library to the Chandler Public Library under the Library Services and Technology Act, which is administered by the Institute of Museum and Library services.
Info: 480-782-2800 or chandlerlibrary.org/america-in-times-of-conflict.
There will also be a performance of “Letters Home” at the Chandler Center for the Arts, that puts the current wars in Afghanistan and Iraq front and center by bringing to life actual letters written by soldiers serving in the Middle East. The shows are 3 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 12, in one of the center’s theaters.