Holmdel is the site of the New Jersey Vietnam Veterans' Memorial, Vietnam Era Museum and Educational Center.
The Educational Center is the only one of its kind in the nation.
More than 14,000 visitors are welcome to the Museum and Educational Center each year. The facility was planned to augment the memorial to help visitors gain a better understanding of the war in Southeast Asia and the surrounding political strife in America.
It complements the solemnity of the memorial with a dynamic and lively learning environment.
The 10,000-square-foot facility includes a number of key components:
Covering the walls of the exhibit area is a chronology of the war that presents a historical recollection of the events of the era, shown in two concurrent timelines -- one reflecting the activity in Vietnam and the other reflecting events in the United States.
The chronologies allow visitors to gain a full perspective of the political, military, social and cultural elements in play during this time.
Interspersed along this timeline are touch screen computers that provide visitors with an interactive glance at historical events, as well as personal photographs submitted by Vietnam veterans and their families.
Mirroring the historical events is a secondary timeline presenting eyewitness accounts of some of the major events taking place during this era.
Whether from the jungles of Southeast Asia or the livings rooms of America, these personal accounts (through letters and other written material) help make the connection between the facts of war and its effect on peoples‘ lives.
The museum also hosts oral histories of the people who lived through this era. The center also features an extensive library of books, videos, CD-ROMs, periodicals and other reference materials.
The New Jersey Vietnam Veterans’ Memorial is adjacent to the museum and honors 1,562 New Jersians who made the ultimate sacrifice.
The memorial and education center is at the PNC Arts Center, Exit 116 from the Garden State Pky., 732-335-0033, www.njvvmf.org
The memorial is open 24 hours a day and the museum open Tue. – Sat., 10 am – 4pm.