One Book One Community features Vietnam War Story and Wall That Heals

The Cabarrus County Public Library and its community partners are excited to announce the events surrounding the 2011 One Book One Community – Cabarrus Reads program. This year’s program features “The Things They Carried” by Tim O’Brien.

Tracing the tour of one American platoon, “The Things They Carried” is not just a tale of the Vietnam War – although it's considered one of the finest books ever about combat. This award-winning book is a brutal, sometimes funny, often profound narrative about the human heart – how it fares under pressure, and what it can endure. It was chosen as the One Book One Community book this year because it is a great discussion initiator; whether the discussion is about war, politics, current events, literature or just life, the objective is to bring people together across the county to encourage reading for pleasure and enlightenment.
There are over 25 programs and events throughout March and April including community book discussions, theatre events, children & family programs, films, a photography exhibit and more. Of special interests are The Wall that Heals and a visit from the author.


The Wall that Heals is a replica of the Vietnam Veterans War Memorial in Washington, DC.
This half-scale replica “brings the Wall home” to communities throughout our country, touching Americans with its message of honor and healing. The Wall That Heals also features a traveling museum and information center providing a comprehensive educational component. The museum chronicles the Vietnam War era and the unique healing power of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial, while the information center serves as a venue for people to learn about friends and loved ones lost in the war. Once the wall is in place, it will be open to the public all day. The Wall will be at Frank Liske Park from Thursday, March 31 until Sunday, April 3. An opening ceremony will be held on Thursday, March 31 at 9 am.


Author Tim O’Brien will visit several schools in Cabarrus County to talk about his experiences and answers questions about the book and his writing life.
High School Visit: The program at Jay M. Robinson High School is for high school students only. Contact Kris Benshoff at 704-920-2053 for further information.
  • Friday April 8 12:45-2:00 pm Jay M. Robinson High School for high school students only
College Visit: The program at Rowan-Cabarrus Community College is free and open to the public. Registration is required. Contact Amelia Likin at 704-216-3548 or send an email to beginning March 1 to register.
  • Friday April 8 3:00-5:00 pm Rowan-Cabarrus Community College, NC Research Campus
Meet the Author – Lecture and Book Signing
Tim O’Brien will join us to share his story and talk about writing “The Things They Carried.” This program is free and open to the public. Books will be available for purchase. Registration is required. Please contact Kris Benshoff at 704-920-2053 to register. (All attendees will be eligible for a Kindle door prize.)
  • Saturday April 9 7:30-9:00 pm Hampton Inn (612 Dickens Place NE, Concord)
Additional information about ONE BOOK ONE COMMUNITY-CABARRUS READS programs is available at: and
This project is made possible by a grant from the North Carolina Humanities Council, a statewide non-profit and affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities. It also would not be possible without the following: Cabarrus Arts Council, Cabarrus County Parks, Cabarrus County Department of Aging, Concord Friends of the Library, Friends of Mt. Pleasant Library, Friends of Harrisburg Library, Historic Cabarrus Association, Independent Tribune, Kannapolis Friends of the Library, Mariam Cannon Hayes Charitable Trust, North Carolina Arts Council, Old Courthouse Theatre and Rowan-Cabarrus Community College.


Many book discussions are taking place throughout the County as listed below.
All are free and open to the public. For more information about these programs, contact Terry Prather at 704-920-1180.
Tuesday, March 8 • 6:00 pm
Kannapolis Branch Library (Fiction Room)
Discussion Leader: Judge Clarence E. Horton, Jr.
Wednesday, March 9 • 10:30 am
Kannapolis Branch Library (Fiction Room)
Discussion Leader: Mike O’Brien, Friend of the Library
Monday, March 14 • 7:00 pm
Rocky River Coffee Company, Harrisburg
Discussion Leader: Ben McNeely, Independent Tribune
Thursday, March 17 • 6:00 pm
Mt. Pleasant Branch Library (Meeting Room)
Discussion Leader: Gail and Les Puntch (Les is a Vietnam veteran)
Thursday, March 24 • 12:00 pm
Harrisburg Branch Library (Meeting Room)
Discussion Leader: Melinda Metz, Local Author
Monday, March 28 • 7:00 pm
Oak Tree Coffee Company, Kannapolis
Discussion Leader: Ben McNeely, Independent Tribune
Tuesday, March 29 • 7:00 pm
Rocky River Coffee Company, Concord
Discussion Leader: Melinda Metz, Local Author
Thursday, March 31 • 1:00 pm
Cabarrus County Veterans Museum, Concord
Discussion Leader: Michael Eury, Executive Director, Historic Cabarrus Association.


The Living Room Reader’s Series at the Old Courthouse Theatre will present a performance of Shirley Lauro’s play, “A Piece of My Heart”, depicting the experiences of 26 service women stationed in Vietnam during the war. This performance is free and open to the public. There is no reserved seating. For more information, call 704-788-2405.
  • Sunday March 13 4:00 pm
The Old Courthouse Theatre presents, “Paying Tribute”, a theatrical and musical celebration about our very own heroes - our veterans. Written by Heather Wilson, it is an inspired retelling of the stories of war time shared by local veterans. Free and open to the public. Donations appreciated. Contact Old Courthouse Theatre at 704-788-2405 to reserve your ticket.
  • Friday March 18 8:00 pm
  • Saturday March 19 8:00 pm
  • Sunday March 20 2:30 pm


“A Thousand Words:  Photographs by Vietnam Veterans”
This traveling exhibit includes 60 color and black and white reproductions of photographs by North Carolina Vietnam veterans taken during their tours. Quotes by the veterans and a PowerPoint presentation with 70 additional photographs accompany the show. The exhibition is the culmination of eight months of research and photo restoration by photography students from the Sawtooth School (Winston-Salem), volunteers, fifty veterans (who submitted over 3,000 photographs) and related organizations. The exhibition opened in July of 2004 and has been on a nationwide tour since then. Created and curated by Martin Tucker, a Navy veteran and photographer himself, this exhibit will be on display from March 1 through April 15 at the following locations during the project:
  • March 1-March 12 Carolina Mall
  • March 13-March 20 Old Courthouse Theatre
  • March 21-April 15 Kannapolis Library


Experiencing History - America During the Vietnam War
Children in grades 2 and up and their families will learn about this time period in our history through food, music, clothes, culture and more. We will also read “The Wall” by Eve Bunting.
  • Thursday March 10 4:15 pm Harrisburg Library
  • Tuesday March 15 4:00 pm Concord Library
  • Wednesday March 23 4:00 pm Kannapolis Library
  • Monday March 28 4:00 pm Mt. Pleasant Library

Book Discussions

Children in grades 3 and up and their families will read “Almost Forever” by Maria Testa at home and then join us at the library to talk about it.
  • Thursday March 17 4:00 pm Concord Library
  • Monday March 29 4:00 pm Mt. Pleasant Library


“Breaking the Silence and Healing the Soul:  The Oral Histories of Vietnam Veterans of NC”
(Scholar: Sharon D. Raynor, PhD)
This program, sponsored by the North Carolina Humanities Council, explores the concepts of trauma, silence, healing and recovery. Dr. Raynor learned of her father’s war experiences from photographs taken and a diary kept during his tour of duty. She shows her audience videotape clips and shares excerpts from the oral history interviews, photographs and newspaper articles, and memorabilia from the war.
  • Tuesday March 22 7:00 pm Cabarrus Senior Center (Library)


Many feature films and documentaries have been about the Vietnam War. In March, we will show two films at the Concord Library on each of the dates listed below. Details about the films will be available at your Public Library. The first film to be shown, and one of the most recent ones created, is a work by Professor Ron Osgood (Indiana University) entitled, “My Vietnam, Your Iraq”. This documentary tells the stories of Vietnam Veterans whose children have served in Iraq. It looks at the pride, challenges, and fear that parents and children face when one is serving in a war. For information contact Kris Benshoff at 704-920-2053.
  • Saturday March 12 1:00-3:00 pm; 3:00-5:00 pm Concord Library (Auditorium)
  • Saturday March 26 1:00-3:00 pm; 3:00-5:00 pm Concord Library (Auditorium)