Patriots Point to offer free symposium on Internment in Times of War
Patriots Point will offer a free symposium on “Internment in Times of War” at 10 a.m. Jan. 25 in the Yorktown’s Smokey Stover Theater.
The symposium is the third in the naval and maritime museum’s 70th anniversary series, “Ordinary People Doing Extraordinary Things.” It will be streamed live into Charleston County School District classrooms and on Patriots Point’s website, www.patriotspoint.org.
The tourist attraction will also unveil a new exhibit entitled, “American Internment.” It will feature a replica of a “Hanoi Hilton” cell; prisoner of war items such as pajamas, plastic drinking cup, bowl and spoon; and other artifacts.
Representatives of the Lowcountry Chapter of American Ex-POWs will also attend the symposium.
Panelists will include Holocaust survivor Joe Engel of Charleston, who was a prisoner at Auschwitz; Army veteran Ned Montgomery of Mount Pleasant, whose father was captured by Japanese forces in Bataan and later died of pneumonia; Japanese-American internee Mary Murakami of Maryland, who at age 16 was moved with her family from San Francisco to Arizona after the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor; Korean War POW William Funchess of Clemson, who survived three years of imprisonment and suffered from scabies, hepatitis and night blindness; and Vietnan War POW Retired Col. Quincy Collins, who was shot down on a mission to destroy a bridge near Hanoi, suffered injuries and broken bones and spent seven years in captivity.
“We are excited to host this symposium to highlight the personal struggles, challenges and triumphs internees and prisoners of war faced — and ultimately overcame — during their time in captivity,” said Patriots Point Executive Director Mac Burdette.
“Part of our mission at Patriots Point is to educate our visitors about the service and sacrifices of our men and women in uniform — as well as civilians,” he said. “Through these technological advances and live streaming capabilities, we are able to take our mission one step further — reaching classrooms and households across the country and world.”
Though Patriots Point’s initiative to stream the program live and make it available as an educational resource, Charleston County School District anticipates that as many as 200-300 classes will tune in to watch the live stream, including Mary Huffman’s fifth-grade class at Charles Pinckney Elementary School.
“The presentation of ‘Internment in Times of War’ is such a historic symposium that will allow my students here at Pinckney Elementary the opportunity to hear firsthand accounts of these heroic survivors from World War II, the Korean War and the Vietnam War,” Huffman said.
“I am thrilled to be able to integrate this standard-based interview session while staying in the comfort of my classroom where we can engage in active discussion, re-enactments and hands-on activities directly following the broadcast,” she said.