The Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund's In Memory program honors those who died as a result of the Vietnam War, but whose deaths do not fit the Department of Defense criteria for inclusion upon the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington, D.C.
The Vietnam War was the most controversial and longest conflict in American history. From 1959 to 1975, many American soldiers and nurses lost their lives in Southeast Asia. As these brave service men and women began returning home they were met with anger and indifference on the part of the American public. Many of these veterans tried to forget about their experience in Vietnam, while they and their families struggled with the emotional and physical toll of the war. It was not until 1982, when The Wall was dedicated, that the veterans and their families were able to begin a healing process that was long overdue. The Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund, the organization that funded the construction of The Wall, wanted to have a place where veterans who had been ignored or embarrassed by their service could stand proud and where the public could embrace the sacrifices these soldiers made.
While The Wall shows the names of those soldiers who died in the war, veterans who suffered from medical issues caused by their service in Vietnam – exposure to defoliant spray and psychological wounds – absent from The Wall. VVMF believes that all those who serve should be honored in a similar way. Therefore, the In Memory program began in an effort to acknowledge the hardships these veterans and their families went through and the strengths they possessed after the war ended. The In Memory program honors the sacrifices these veterans and their families made. The In Memory Day ceremony has become a place where families who faced similar hardships gather and help each other begin or continue their healing processes.
HOW TO APPLY TO THE IN MEMORY PROGRAM
If you have a question about the program or are experiencing difficulty with the application, contact VVMF at (202) 393-0090 or via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.