1968: The Heart of the Matter


Vietnam: A Working Class War
Saturday, September 22,  @ 9:00 am to 4:00 pm, at the CCAC Allegheny Campus and the Vietnam Veterans Memorial

The goal of this program is to provide an opportunity for the present generation of young people, students, elders, and members of the larger Pittsburgh community to learn from and dialogue with those whose lives and politics were profoundly impacted by the Vietnam War. The program will include three panels:

  • Vietnam veterans
  • Anti-war resisters
  • Representatives from the Vietnamese community

Fifty years after those events and the bloody Tet Offensive, the conference aims to help heal old wounds, bringing together men and women who fought the war with others who actively opposed U.S. involvement in the conflict, and with members of the Vietnamese community who saw Vietnam forever changed by the war.

It will conclude with a procession to and ceremony at the Vietnam War Memorial on the North Shore honoring T.J. McGarvey and the Pittsburgh Building Trades who built the memorial with donated labor.


Continental Breakfast (Included) 8:00 am – 8:45 am

Panel 1 (9:00 – 10:15 am): Vietnam Veterans

Pat Conroy – Director of the Vietnam Veterans Monument Fund, he served two tours in Marine security around Danang and across Vietnam.

Jack Wagner – served in the Marine Corps from 1966-68. His squad of twelve men was ambushed on patrol in the DMZ separating North and South Vietnam, Jack serves as director of Pittsburgh Hires Veterans.

Chris Moore – served in the Army’s 46th Engineers transporting materials by truck along Vietnam’s famous highway 1. His longstanding Sunday evening KDKA radio programs are always open to veterans’ voices.

Nick Molnar – Air Force, crew chief on C130 1968-69 in Indochina. Past President, District 2 of the United Mine Workers. Pennsylvania Labor History Society Board

Panel 2 (10:30 – 11:45 am): Anti-War Activists

Rick Adams – Community activist and Director of CCAC’s Center for Excellence in Funded Programs

Mike Stout – Singer/songwriter anti-war activist for 50 years, co-founder of the Indochina Solidarity Committee in NYC in 1970.

Carl Davidson – was National Secretary of the Students for a Democratic Society (1966-68) during the height of the Vietnam War.

Sandy Kelson – Served in the US Army 1963 – 1966, he is a past president of Veterans for Peace and long-time member of the Thomas Merton Center.

Jessie Medvan – Member of the PA National Guard 2000-2008, she was deployed to Iraq in 2004-5. Jesse is the Lead Organizer of Veterans for Peace Chapter 47 of Western PA.

LUNCH (Included) (12:00 – 12:45 pm)
Acoustic music played by Danny Schlegel,  Americal Division – 23rd infantry in Chu Lai, and Vietnam Veterans for Peace, and will sing songs of love and protest.


Panel 3 (1:00 – 2:15 pm): Impact on Vietnam

Diana Nelson Jones, Community reporter for the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.

Tony Accamando – US Army veteran, 1967; Co-Founder Friends of Danang, a Pittsburgh based organization.

Khoi Tran – Former president Vietnamese Association of Pittsburgh.

Closing Remarks
“The Importance of Teaching about the Vietnam War in our Schools:”
Bob Matthews, North Carolina Vietnam Veterans, Inc., Bridgeback Foundation.

Memorial Service
Vietnam Veterans Monument, North Shore
(Shuttle service provided immediately following conference from CCAC to North Shore)
At 3:15 PM, following the Conference, a memorial service will be held to honor Marine, Ironworker, union and family man T.J. McGarvey, as well as the hundreds of Pittsburgh Building Trades union workers who built the monument entirely with volunteer labor.


CCAC Allegheny Campus
Foerster Student Services Center Auditorium
View Map: 808 Ridge Avenue, Pittsburgh, PA  15212

Tickets cost $25 for the general public; $10 for veterans, active military personnel, underemployed, and students.All attendees will receive a continental breakfast and boxed lunch.

For tickets, click here.

Co-sponsored by the Battle of Homestead Foundation, the Pennsylvania Labor History Society, and CCAC Allegheny Campus