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Episode 24: The Duty to Remember and The Right to Truth: Evelyn Grubb and the POW/MIA UN Human Rights Petition (December 10, 2020)

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The Duty to Remember and The Right to Truth: The Contribution of Evelyn Grubb and the Families of POW/MIA

On this Human Rights Day, we focus on some of the epistemic Human Rights and Duties specifically to Duty to Remember, the Right to Know and the Right to Truth. Before the International Human Rights Community began articulating the contours of these epistemic human rights, Evelyn Grubb (1931-2005), in her capacity as the national coordinator for the National League of POW/MIA families, petitioned the Secretary General of the United Nations about the fundamental human right to know. In that 1971 petition, Evelyn argued that both the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the 3rd Geneva Convention imply that her family has a fundamental human right to know about whether their father, Wilmer Newlin “Newk” Grubb, who was shot down in North Vietnam in 1966, was dead or alive. Evelyn also argued that North Vietnam violated this fundamental human right when it repeatedly used photographs of Major Grubb from 1966-1969 in ways that misled both the Grubb family and the American public as a whole. In this show, we discuss Evelyn’s argument and the nature of the epistemic human rights that are referenced in Evelyn’s petition.
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Photo credit: Caleb Jones/AP

Episode 23: The Duty to Remember: Identifying POW/MIA from the Korean War - Part 2 of an Interview with Dr. Jennie Jin of the DPAA (November 19, 2020)

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The Duty to Remember: Identifying POW/MIA from the Korean War (Part 2 of an interview with Dr. Jennie Jin of the DPAA)

We continue our series on the Duty to Remember by once again welcoming special guest, Dr. Jennie Jin, a forensic anthropologist who works for the DPAA (Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency). Last week, in Part 1 of this inteview, Dr. Jin talked about her work as leader of the Korean War Identification Project of the DPAA. She discussed the circumstances surrounding the recent identification of PFC John Shelemba of Hamtramck, Michigan. In dialogue with PFC Shelemba’s niece, Michele Vance, Dr. Jin explained why the remains known as “X-251 Taejon” were disinterred from the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific, and how, through various methods, were determined to be PFC Shelemba. In this show, Dr. Jin discusses another recent identification of Michigander SFC Jesse “Johnnie” Hill of Highland Park. Rather than being disinterred from the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific, the remains of SFC Hill were handed over by the DPRK (North Korea) in 2018 pursuant to an agreement between President Trump and Chairman Kim Jong Un. In this show, we discuss SFC Hill’s identification and how the Korean War Identification Project not only impacts families, but also political cooperation amongst the U.S. and the two Koreas.
Episode 22: The Duty to Remember: Identifying POW/MIA from the Korean War - An Interview with Dr. Jennie Jin of the DPAA (November 12, 2020)

Click here for show description.
The Duty to Remember: Identifying POW/MIA from the Korean War - An Interview with Dr. Jennie Jin of the DPAA

In honor of Veterans Day, we continue our series on the Duty to Remember by welcoming special guest, Dr. Jennie Jin, a forensic anthropologist who works for the DPAA (Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency). Dr. Jin leads to the Korean War Identification Project of the DPAA. Under her leadership, hundreds of missing US service members who fought in the Korean War have been identified. In this special episode, Dr. Jin discusses her work, and two recent identifications of Michiganders who fought in the Korean War: PFC John Shelemba of Hamtramck, and SFC Jesse “Johnnie” Hill of Highland Park. Dr. Jin discusses the different circumstances surrounding these identifications, the different methodologies used in each, the respective challenges that are faced in these identifications, and how this work is not only important to the families of the missing, but also to international cooperation, especially involving the U.S., ROK (South Korea) and DPRK (North Korea).

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Episode 19: The Duty to Remember and The Right to Know: How Newk and Evelyn Grubb built a Community of Memory (October 15, 2020)

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The Duty to Remember and The Right to Know: How Newk and Evelyn Grubb built a Community of Memory

This show continues our series connecting the Duty to Remember and the Ethics of Memory to the issue of Prisoners of War/Missing in Action (POW/MIA). We begin this show with a photo of Wilmer Newlin “Newk” Grubb, an American Pilot who was shot down in North Vietnam in 1966 and died shortly after becoming a POW. Clearly alive in the photo (taken in 1966), and being tended to by a nurse, the photo was promoted by the Democratic Republic of Vietnam (DRV), and published in U.S. papers. Eventually, Newk’s wife Evelyn learned of the photo, who until that time, was uncertain of his fate. Upon seeing the photo, Evelyn’s life – and that of her 4 sons – was changed forever. Learn about this powerful story as Kevyn Settle, director and producer of a relevant documentary film called “Fruits of Peace”, and Jeff Grubb, the eldest one son of Newk and Evelyn Grubb, discuss the events surrounding the photo both in Vietnam and in the United States.
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Episode 18: The Duty to Remember: Journeys of Reconciliation and The Fruits of Peace (October 8, 2020)

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The Duty to Remember: Journeys of Reconciliation and The Fruits of Peace

This show continues our series devoted connecting the Duty to Remember and the Ethics of Memory to the issue of Prisoners of War/Missing in Action (POW/MIA). Joining us is the talented team behind "Fruits of Peace" a 2019 documentary film that focuses on the reconciliatory journey of Du Pham, a Vietnamese National, who fought for the Democratic Republic of Vietnam (North Vietnam) during the Vietnam War. Du belongs to the celebrated anti-aircraft unit "C4" which, as its first victory, shot down American Pilot Wilmer Newlin "Newk" Grubb in 1966. Surviving the attack on his plane, Newk was taken to a local village and fed, and then presumably transported to a camp holding other Prisoners of War. Newk died in captivity shortly thereafter. Du just assumed that Newk had survived and was released when the other Prisoners of War were returned to the United States during Operation Homecoming in 1973. Over 40 years later, in 2010, Du journeyed to the U.S. in part to visit his brother Mai (who fought for the South) and to find Newk. Join us to learn about the incredible unfolding of events triggered by Du's courageous decision to extend his hand to his former "enemy", as told in "Fruits of Peace." Joining us are Kevyn Settle (Producer, Director), Michael Chiplock (Executive Producer) and Shirine Hossaini (Associate Producer) of this moving film that raises profound and poignant questions about the Duty to Remember, the Ethics of Memory and how journeys of reconciliation help to harvest the fruits of peace.
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Episode 17: The Duty to Remember: Considering Prisoners of War and The Missing in Action (POW/MIA) as a Case Study in the Ethics of Memory (September 24, 2020)

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The Duty to Remember: Considering Prisoners of War and The Missing in Action (POW/MIA) as a Case Study in the Ethics of Memory

In his book “The Ethics of Memory”(Harvard 2004) philosopher Avishai Margalit argues that although we have a duty to remember others, the nature of those duties shifts depending on our specific relationship to “the other”. We have a duty to remember friends and family, but that duty is weaker and even non-existent if the other is a stranger. In today’s show, we use the issue of Prisoners of War/Missing in Action (POW/MIA) to reflect on Margalit’s theory and other moral questions connected to our duties to the Missing, to the dead, and to their families. The familiar POW/MIA flag (created during the Vietnam War) states “You are Not Forgotten,” betokening a moral duty to remember. September 18, 2020 was National POW/MIA Recognition Day and this show is the first in a series in which we engage in an extended discussion of Prisoners of War/Missing in Action (POW/MIA) and their families. Joining us is documentary filmmaker Keyvn Settle who has done extensive research on the POW/MIA issue and has recently made a moving film, Fruits of Peace, that includes the story of how the Vietnam War helped shape our Duty to Remember.
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Trailer of "Fruits of Peace," an award winning 2019 documentary about the power of memory and the promise of reconciliation. To learn more about the film watch the trailer and click here.
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1. Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency
Governmental agency focused on providing the fullest possible accounting of missing personnel to their families and the nation.



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You Are Not Forgotten
Definitive text by Evelyn Grubb and Carol Jose about Evelyn's story and leadership of The National League of Families (2008, Vandemere)

To watch a presentation by Carole Jose about the book,
click here.
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The League of Wives: The Untold Story of the Women who took on the U.S. Government to Bring Their Husbands Home
Published in 2019 by Heath Hardage Lee, this account focuses on the ordeal with special focus on Sybil Stockdale, wife of Admiral James Stockdale. Admiral Stockdale used Stoic philosophy to help him during his time as a POW in North Vietnam.

The rights to
League of Wives have been purchased by Reese Witherspoon's film production company, 'Hello Sunshine.' The film is now in pre-production. To learn more, click here.