For veterans, returning home from war can be both an exhilarating and challenging experience. History Connection (www.historyconnection.net) in cooperation with Santa Rosa Junior College, Petaluma Campus, presents the traveling exhibition “War Comes Home”.
Through private correspondence from almost every major conflict in U.S. history, War Comes Home offers insight into the thoughts and emotions of veterans and their families upon their homecoming. These intimate perspectives – from the Civil War era through the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq – reveal how war can shape a life, a family, and a community. This exhibition is provided by Cal Humanities and is a part of its War Comes Home initiative, which aims to raise awareness of and promote greater understanding of our veterans and explore the impact of war on our communities.
The exhibition explores the joys and hardships that returning soldiers and their families face during homecoming, as expressed through rare private letters and email correspondence. Spanning conflicts from the Civil War through the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq and featuring thirteen interpretive panels.
War Comes Home: The Legacy explores the shared themes of wartime separation, the adjustment to life back at home, and the costs of war. As Staff Sergeant Parker Gyokeres writes, “Those of us coming back…are not looking for sympathy. We might be reluctant at first to talk about what we’ve been through…but your support has made this journey an incredible one…Thanks, above all, for listening.”
Within each section, the exhibition pairs a historic letter with a contemporary letter or email to demonstrate the range of experiences our military members face as they transition from deployment to home. “Our hope is to bring home the real human cost of war” Explains Joe Noriel of History Connection. “The wars may be different but the central theme and emotions are the same – a longing to be home”.
An opening reception Thursday, November 12 3pm-4:30pm will feature a panel discussion from veterans of foreign wars sharing their feelings of being away from home.
War Comes Home is a partnership between Cal Humanities, the California State Library and Exhibit Envoy. It is supported in part by the National Endowment for the Humanities, the Bay Tree Fund, The Whitman Fund, and the U.S. Institute of Museum and Library Services under the provisions of the Library Services and Technology Act, administered in California by the State Librarian.
This exhibition runs from November 3rd through December 6, 2015 and offers a self-guided audio tour. Santa Rosa Junior College, Petaluma Campus, Mahoney Library 680 Sonoma Mountain Parkway, Petaluma, CA. 94954, M-Th 7:45am-9pm, Fridays 9am-1pm, Saturdays 10am-3pm, free admission. Opening reception will be held at the Mahoney Library Gallery/Petaluma Campus. 707-778-2415