Vietnam Veteran J. Kimo Williams developed and created The Names of Those (TNOT), a video that scrolls names alphabetically by State of every military service member who died due to their service during the Vietnam War. Kimo states that "we should all be cognizant of those who lost their lives in service to the country. I want to create a visual representation of those lives and by April 30th, 2025 (the 50th anniversary of the end of the War) to have presented TNOT in all 50 states and allow the viewer to emotionally connect to the names without any interruption of any kind."
J. Kimo Williams is the former founder and executive director of the United States Veterans Arts Program (USVAP). USVAP provided art resources to VA Medical Centers from 2010 to 2016. He was also Executive Director of the National Veterans Art Museum in Chicago from 2003 to 2004, where he coordinated and implemented the construction of artwork for the Chicago Vietnam Veterans Memorial. Kimo co-founded the Lt. Dan Band, producing and performing music for military members around the world. As a founder of the band, he coordinated the first fundraiser for the Pentagon 9/11 Memorial Fund event in Chicago. Kimo understands the importance of engaging veteran's perspectives with community-based support. Specifically, for The Names of Those project, he is using art as a mechanism to highlight the importance of understanding the individuality of Vietnam military veterans as an integral part of the cultural community and reflecting on those service-members who lost their lives as a result of their service during the Vietnam War.
This 20 Hour video will premiere as a physical art installation over a three-day event, 10 am to 5 pm March 26th, 27th, and 11 am to 5 pm March 28th, 2021, at the War Memorial Building in Shepherdstown, West Virginia. It will also simultaneously premiere on YouTube in its full 20hour version (specifics are provided at www.thenamesofthose.com). Public Law No: 115-15, Vietnam War Veterans Recognition Act of 2017officially designated by Congress on March 29th as the official day to recognize Vietnam Veterans and their service to the country. In that spirit, Faces of Vietnam, a photography exhibit of images from Kimo's return visits to Vietnam, will be part of this installation and the official recognition weekend. For a description of the art installation, please visit www.thenamesofthose.com. After this initial launch, the goal is to raise funds to display The Names of Those Memoriam in each of the 50 States by April 30th, 2025 (The 50th anniversary of the end of the Vietnam War).
As an eternal flame is used to commemorate a person or event of national significance, and as Webster defines it, "a small fire that is kept burning as a symbol to show that something will never end." The Names of Those is an eternal scroll of Names - a Memoriam to those lives lost. The goal of this film is to provide a unique visual perspective of each service member's names who, according to the National Archives, is considered a casualty directly related to their service in the Vietnam War.
To scroll all 58,220 names is estimated to take 20 hours. A total of 20 hours is needed in that the speed of the scroll needs to be slow enough to be read. The names are presented alphabetically by State and the service member's name with the official date of death. Each name has an associated timestamp (visible on screen) that will be forever be associated with that name and searchable (when virtually presented) utilizing the timeline scroll bar.
A published program is provided for download or viewing [HERE}.
The music for this film was composed by J. Kimo Williams and include his award-winning compositions, Symphony For The Sons of Nam, Fanfare For Life, and American Soldier. It is looped continuously as all 58,220 names are presented. For the music associated with American Soldier, actor Gary Sinise narrates an oratory written by Army Veteran and textile artist Carol Williams.
In 1970 as an Army Combat Engineer serving a tour of duty in Vietnam, Kimo Williams began a fascination with capturing images and composing music that reflects his life experiences and observations. Together, photography and music provide his distinct voice for self-reflection, social commentary, and cultural engagement. In 2018 he opened his photo gallery, KimoPics. Located in Shepherdstown, West Virginia, Little Beck LLC/KimoPics is a government verified veteran-owned business. The Gallery exhibits photos from his exploration of Shepherdstown and the surrounding area and images from his years traveling the world as a performer. KimoPics produces at least two themed exhibits each year.
More information to include curricula Vita and biographies are available at www.kimowilliams.com
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