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VIETNAM VETERANS MEMORIAL FUND SEARCHES FOR FAMILIES OF CALIFORNIA, ILLINOIS SERVICEMEN
Names to Be Added to Vietnam Veterans Memorial Next Month
WASHINGTON, D.C., April 28, 2003 --- The Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund -- the nonprofit organization responsible for building The Wall in Washington, D.C. more than 20 years ago -- is searching for family members of two servicemen whose names will be added to the black granite memorial next month, announced Jan C. Scruggs, founder and president, Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund.
The Memorial Fund is seeking families of the following individuals:
- U.S. Air Force SSGT Donald Scott Carson, San Francisco, California, Born: November 3, 1931, Died: April 15, 1963
- U.S. Army PFC William Joseph Scannell, Forest Park, Illinois, Born: February 13, 1948, Died: September 12, 1970
"The Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund sincerely hopes to find the surviving relatives of Air Force Staff Sergeant Donald Scott Carson and Private First Class William Joseph Scannell, so that we can learn more about these individuals and preserve their legacy," Scruggs said. "We would like these families to watch as their loved ones' names are inscribed on The Wall and become forever memorialized for their service and sacrifice."
Family members or individuals knowing these families' whereabouts are urged to contact the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund at (202) 393-0090 or via email at email@example.com.
The names of six servicemen will be added to The Wall on Monday, May 12, 2003, bringing the total number of those who were killed or remain missing to 58,235. The family members will be invited to participate in the Name Addition event on May 12 as well as the Annual Memorial Day Observance at The Wall in Washington, D.C. on Monday, May 26 at 1 p.m. The six new names will be "officially" added to the Memorial on Memorial Day when a family member, representing all six families, reads the names aloud during the ceremony.
Next month, expert stone workers from Denver, Colorado-based Great Panes Glassworks, Inc. travel to Washington, D.C. to perform the process of adding names to the black granite panels and changing the status designations of existing names from missing in action to killed in action. The highly technical procedure requires meticulous work matching the stroke and depth of the surrounding names to within one thousandth of an inch, Scruggs said.
In addition, the status symbols of 32 service members listed on the Memorial will be changed from missing in action to killed in action. Preceding each name on the Memorial is a symbol designating status. The diamond symbol denotes that the service member's death was confirmed; the cross symbol denotes the person remains missing in action. When a service member's remains are returned or accounted for, the diamond symbol is superimposed over the cross.
The Department of Defense makes all decisions about persons who fit the established criteria to be inscribed on the Memorial. The Memorial Fund, which pays for the name additions and status changes annually, works with the National Park Service to ensure the long-term preservation and maintenance of The Wall.
Dedicated on November 13, 1982, the Memorial was built to honor all who served with the U.S. Armed Forces during the Vietnam War. It has become known as an international symbol of healing that has helped bring together those who stood on different sides during one of the most divisive periods in American history. The Wall continues to be the most visited memorial in the nation's capital with more than 4.4 million visitors each year.
Established in 1979, the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund is the nonprofit organization authorized by Congress to build the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington, D.C. Today, it has developed a series of outreach programs dedicated to preserving the legacy of The Wall, to promoting healing and to educating about the impact of the Vietnam War.