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Vietnam Vets Reenlist For a Day of Volunteer Copter-Building at Constitution Center

(Credit: John McDevitt)

(Credit: John McDevitt)

John McDevitt John McDevitt
John McDevitt has been a reporter and editor at KYW Newsradio 1060...
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By John McDevitt

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — The National Constitution Center is preparing for a special exhibit on the year 1968.

Today, some area Vietnam veterans took time out to assemble a focal point of the exhibition: a Bell “Huey” helicopter.

About a dozen men, assisted by men and women from the Constitution Center, built the Huey, piece by piece, in about four hours.  It’s a helicopter the Vietnam vets are very familiar with.

(A portion of the main rotor assembly is moved into place.  Credit: John McDevitt)

(A portion of the main rotor assembly is moved into position. Credit: John McDevitt)

It was an emotional task for some.  Wallace Presley of Philadelphia says the reconstructed copter will be a very important addition to “The 1968 Exhibit.”

“For the veterans it will bring back a lot of memories,” he said, “good ones because of the camaraderie of the people that we met, but then the haunting ones because of the people getting killed and everything like that.   But for the kids, the kids are smart enough to understand and ask some tough questions,” he added with a chuckle.

(Credit: John McDevitt)

(Credit: John McDevitt)

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“The 1968 Exhibit” will open June 14th at the National Constitution Center, 5th and Arch Streets, and will cover a number of topics including the Vietnam war, the civil rights movement, and women’s lib.

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