By Sarah Dean
BEACON STAFF WRITER
Kathy Bracewell, a peace activist currently living in Port Orange, was a student at the University of Wisconsin-Madison during the Vietnam War, and took part in the anti-war effort while her brother fought in Vietnam.
Bracewell is coming to DeLand to speak about her experiences Monday, April 6, during a screening of the Academy Award-nominated film The War at Home.
The community is welcome to attend the free event, sponsored by the Stetson University history department. The showing is set for 7 p.m. in Room 315 in Elizabeth Hall, 421 N. Woodland Blvd.
“I was a participant; you can see me in the film out in the crowds,” Bracewell said. “The protesters were often estranged from their families. It was such a tumultuous time.”
Bracewell is a registered nurse as well as an artist, and is an avid supporter of the Central Florida chapter of Veterans for Peace. Bracewell participated in roadside demonstrations led by the chapter in Daytona Beach 2005-15, designing posters and signs for the demonstrations and standing by the road herself almost every Thursday for 10 years.
The chapter now focuses on more specialized events, where Bracewell is often a speaker.
“I’m a spokesperson for the era. I feel like it’s a part of history that’s being lost. Many people I talk to don’t even know what it is, or don’t want to know. I want it to be known,” Bracewell said.
The War at Home is a documentary that focuses on student-led protests against the American government’s Vietnam policies, something Bracewell experienced firsthand.
“High-school kids and college friends were being drafted over there. I just want to share the feelings that went on, and how we were very passionate,” she said.
Bracewell emphasized the importance of all generations learning about their own history.
“History is vital. If we don’t learn from history, it’s going to repeat itself. I know so many young people have the future on their minds, and are so busy trying to plan their lives, but history is just as important to think about,” she said.
She’s hoping for a good cross section of people of all ages Monday evening.
“I am really looking forward to it, and I definitely want all ages to come,” Bracewell said. “I am passionate about this time in history, and I tend to get emotional when I watch this film; I promise it will be interesting.”
The War at Home – Q&A Session with Kathy Bracewell, Stetson University Department of History, April 6, 2015