“Marking Time: Voyage to Vietnam”
Whereas, the volunteer Vietnam Graffiti Project was founded in 1997 by Albemarle County residents Art and Lee Beltrone of Keswick, after Art Beltrone discovered historic graffiti-inscribed berthing unit canvases aboard the former military troop ship "General Nelson M. Walker" in Virginia's James River Reserve Fleet--also known as the "Ghost Fleet," and the graffiti was left by young American soldiers going to the war in Vietnam during the 1960s; and
Whereas, during subsequent years the couple organized a cadre of volunteers who worked with the Maritime Administration to remove more than 1,000 of the historic rack canvases and other artifacts for preservation which were transferred to museums maintained by the Library of Congress, Smithsonian Institution, Army, Navy, Marine Corps, and state and local repositories throughout the United States, and the Albemarle Charlottesville Historical Society also received a canvas signed by a local soldier; and
Whereas, just prior to the organization's tenth anniversary, the Vietnam Graffiti Project, in partnership with the Virginia Foundation for the Humanities, created the "Marking Time: Voyage to Vietnam" traveling exhibit, which had its premier Albemarle County opening January 7, 2008 at the Albemarle County Office Building and remains on display at the COB through January 11, 2008; and
Whereas, because of its historic relevance, the "Marking Time" exhibit will be shared with other communities throughout the nation following its debut at the County Office Building;
Now, Therefore, Be It Resolved, that the Albemarle County Board of Supervisors expresses its sincere appreciation to Art and Lee Beltrone for their outstanding devotion and dedication to preserving this important collection of artifact history and creating a display that communicates the emotion and experience of young soldiers shipping out to the Vietnam War.
Signed and sealed this 9th day of January, 2008.
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