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|For Immediate Release||April 19, 2011|
KENTUCKY KICKS OFF STATEWIDE EFFORT TO GATHER PHOTOS FOR 1,058 NATIVE SONS ON THE VIETNAM VETERANS MEMORIAL
Washington, D.C. – A statewide initiative to gather photos of every Kentuckian whose name is on the Vietnam Veterans Memorial will kick off at a May 9 breakfast at The Center for Rural Development in Somerset, Ky., announced Jan C. Scruggs, founder and president of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund (VVMF), which is partnering with the state in this effort.
The photos will be used in the Education Center at The Wall, a learning facility being built near the Vietnam Veterans and Lincoln Memorials in Washington, D.C. The Education Center will build on the visitor’s experience at The Wall by showing a photo for every name and telling their stories. VVMF is reaching out to states, counties and communities for help gathering photos and remembrances about the men and women who made the ultimate sacrifice in Vietnam.
“VVMF is energized by the enthusiasm of the people of Kentucky,” said Scruggs. “We want to make sure that the 1,058 individuals from the state are honored and remembered in the Education Center.”
The kick-off breakfast will start at 9:30 a.m. on May 9. It is being held as part of the activities around the arrival of VVMF’s traveling half-scale replica of the Memorial, called The Wall That Heals. The exhibition includes a traveling museum and information center, which is equipped with a scanner so that visitors can bring their photos of loved ones on The Wall and have them scanned onsite.
The breakfast is being held to honor veterans of all wars and those currently serving. Among the honored guests will be U.S. Congressman Hal Rogers (R-5th), chairman of the House Appropriations Committee. Rogers served in the Kentucky and North Carolina National Guard from 1957-64 and is a member of the National Guard and Reserve Caucus. Also speaking will be Lonnie Lawson, the president and CEO of the Center for Rural Development. VVMF President Jan Scruggs will be on hand to talk about the National Call for Photos.
The Wall That Heals will be in Somerset from May 9-14. Local organizers have activities planned every day at noon, beginning on Tuesday, May 10, that include wreath layings, leaving flags at The Wall and reading the names of all those on The Wall from Kentucky. At noon on Saturday, May 14, a closing ceremony featuring full military honors will be conducted by the Somerset American Legion Post #38. Somerset is the only stop The Wall That Heals is scheduled to make in Kentucky this year.
The May 9 breakfast and all of the activities with The Wall That Heals are free and open to the public. The Center for Rural Development is located at 2292 South Highway 27, Somerset, Ky.
About the Education Center
The Education Center at The Wall is a learning center being built by the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund and located near the Lincoln and Vietnam Veterans Memorials. It is designed to tell future generations what service and sacrifice are all about. The exhibits inside the Center will feature the stories of many who served, display some of the more than 150,000 personal remembrances left at The Wall, present a timeline of historical events and feature special exhibits to highlight the service and sacrifice of different groups and individuals. Approximately $85 million will be needed to build the Center. VVMF has received donations from corporations, organizations, veterans groups and individuals, including the lead gift from Time Warner. For information, visit www.buildthecenter.org or call 1-866-990-WALL.
About The Center for Rural Development
Established in 1996 through the vision of U.S. Congressman Harold "Hal" Rogers (R-5th) and other leaders, The Center for Rural Development is a nonprofit organization fueled by a mission to provide leadership that stimulates innovative and sustainable economic development solutions and a better way of life in southern and eastern Kentucky. In its 42-county primary service region, The Center provides innovative programs in leadership, development, advanced telecommunications, technology, public safety and a variety of performing arts and cultural events. The Center is committed to expanding its capabilities constantly in order to deliver a range of key services throughout Kentucky and the nation. Visit www.centertech.com.
Established in 1979, the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund is dedicated to preserving the legacy of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington, D.C., promoting healing and educating about the impact of the Vietnam War. Authorized by Congress, its most recent initiative is building The Education Center at The Wall, an underground facility near the Memorial that is designed to add faces to all the names on The Wall and tell their stories. Other Memorial Fund initiatives include educational programs for students and teachers, a traveling Wall replica that honors our nation's veterans and a humanitarian and mine-action program in Vietnam. Visit www.vvmf.org.
|For more information, contact:|
In Washington, D.C.:
Michael Cornett, The Center for Rural Development
Office: (606) 677-6155
Cell: (606) 875-9551