Items Left at The Wall

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assemblage

  • Catalog Number:VIVE 10660
  • Accession Date:5/29/1995
  • Item Summary:Artifact assemblage consisting of thirty-eight (38) non-military issue, commemorative service identification tags (also referred to as "dog tags") and a military issue, P-38 can opener (also referred to as a, "John Wayne") strung on a length of metal ball chain. The artifact assemblage is presently affixed to the steel frame of the associated Wisconsin Hero Bike (VIVE (15409)), built in honor of the thirty-seven (37) Wisconsin Vietnam veterans listed by the Department of Defense (DOD) as POW*MIA at the time of production. Thirty-seven (37) of the service identification tags in the artifact assemblage bear the name, casualty date, age, and hometown of record for a member of the "Wisconsin 37". The motorcycle (with tag assemblage affixed) was transported to The Wall by members of the "Bike For The Wall Committee", a group of Wisconsin Vietnam veterans and motorcycle enthusiasts led by, "Hogman" Bob Thompson, "Polack" & Marlene Pezewski, "Shooter" & Deb Rutkowski, Ron Mungo Oleszak, "Kickstand" & Jen, and "Gator" & Carla "Pig Heart". The group displayed the bike and tag assemblage at the apex of The Wall as a part of, "Rolling Thunder VIII / Run To The Wall '95" on Memorial Day weekend, May 27 - 29, 1995. On May 29, 1995 the bike and tag assemblage were delivered to the National Park Service's (NPS) Museum Resource Center (MRCE) and were formally accessioned into the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Collection along with the associated motorcycle saddlebag (VIVE (10661)), a memorial plaque (VIVE (10662)), and a document binder detailing the production of the motorcycle (VIVE (10663)). An associated framed color photograph (VIVE (11400)) depicting members of the Bike For The Wall Committee posing with the motorcycle and associated artifacts while on display at The Wall during Memorial Day 1995 was later accessioned into the collection on August 2, 1995.

ribbon, Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal

  • Catalog Number:VIVE 02792
  • Accession Date:9/23/1986
  • Item Summary:U.S. military medal ribbon. Military issue, Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal ribbon. During the late 1950’s, it became apparent that a medal was needed to recognize the services of the Armed Forces who participated in the increased involvement of the American military in peacekeeping activities. As a result, President John F. Kennedy established the Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal, per Executive Order 10977, dated 4 December 1961, for operations on or after 1 July 1958. The artifact was left at The Wall by an anonymous donor between July - September 1986. (Source: The Institute of Heraldry- http://www.tioh.hqda.pentagon.mil)

print, framed color photographic


  • Catalog Number:VIVE 11400
  • Accession Date:8/2/1995
  • Associated Name(s) on The Wall: MICHAEL J ALLARD , MERLIN R ALLEN , WILLIAM T ARNOLD , NORMAN K BILLIPP , THOMAS J BLACKMAN , RICHARD L BOWERS , ROBERT I BUSH , PAUL D DERBY , DONALD W DOWNING , WALTER F DRAEGER JR , WILLIAM A EVANS , CHARLES R FELLENZ , EDWIN J FICKLER , RICHARD W FISCHER , PAUL R FRAZIER , DONALD L GALLAGHER , PAUL S GEE , WILLIAM D GORSUCH , JOHN F HARTZHEIM , RICHARD J HENTZ , RAYMOND T HEYNE , ROY A HUSS , RANDOLPH L JOHNSON , JAMES A KETTERER , ROY R KUBLEY , JAMES D LA HAYE , DAVID L LEET , TODD M MELTON , HAROLD J MOE , WILLIAM C PIERSON III , DALE W RICHARDSON , PETER A SCHMIDT , DUWAYNE SOULIER , ALBERT R TRUDEAU , JAMES N TYCZ , JAMES L VANBENDEGOM , ROBERT F WILKE
  • Item Summary:Framed, color photograph depicting members of the "Bike For The Wall Committee", a group of Wisconsin Vietnam veterans and motorcycle enthusiasts led by, "Hogman" Bob Thompson, "Polack" & Marlene Pezewski, "Shooter" & Deb Rutkowski, Ron Mungo Oleszak, "Kickstand" & Jen, and "Gator" & Carla "Pig Heart". This group was responsible for production of the associated Wisconsin Hero Bike (VIVE (15409)), which was built in honor of the thirty-seven (37) Wisconsin Vietnam veterans listed by the Department of Defense (DOD) as POW*MIA at the time of production. The motorcycle incorporates the names of each of the "Wisconsin 37" in original paint schemes by U.S. Marine Corps and Vietnam veteran Wolfman "Jack" Shaulik, while a non-military issue, commemorative service identification tag (or "dog tag") for each of the Wisconsin 37 (VIVE (10660)) is also affixed to the frame of the bike. As a part of, "Rolling Thunder VIII / Run To The Wall '95" the bike left Milwaukee, Wisconsin on Thursday, May 25th and reached the Vietnam Veterans Memorial (VVM) in Washington, D.C. on May 27, 1995 where it remained on public display at the apex of The Wall for three (3) days during the Memorial Day holiday. On May 29, 1995 the bike was delivered to the National Park Service's (NPS) Museum Resource Center (MRCE) and was formally accessioned into the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Collection along with the associated service identification tags (VIVE (10660)), motorcycle saddlebag (VIVE (10661), memorial plaque (VIVE (10662)), and document binder detailing production of the bike (VIVE (10663)). The scene depicted in the photograph was captured during display of these items at the apex of The Wall on Memorial Day weekend, May 27 - 29, 1995, and was formally accessioned into the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Collection two (2) months after the associated artifacts on August 2, 1995.
  • Accession Group:VIVE-00144
  • Related Items: VIVE 10660 - assemblage
    VIVE 10661 - saddlebag, motorcycle
    VIVE 10662 - plaque, memorial
    VIVE 15409 - Bike, Wisconsin Hero
  • Record Component Qty:1
  • Item Description:FRAMED, COLOR PHOTOGRAPHIC PRINT. THE OBJECT CONSISTS OF A FULL COLOR PHOTOGRAPHIC PRINT (LANDSCAPE ORIENTATION), MOUNTED ATOP A RECTANGULARLY SHAPED SHEET OF BLACK CONSTRUCTION PAPER AND HOUSED INSIDE A PAINTED BLACK WOODEN AND GLASS PICTURE FRAME WITH DISPLAY STAND AT THE REVERSE OBJECT SURFACE. THE IMAGE AT THE OBVERSE OBJECT SURFACE FEATURES TEN (10) INDIVIDUALS (FOUR (4) WOMEN AND SIX (6) MEN), ALL APPROXIMATELY FORTY (40) - FIFTY (50) YEARS OF AGE. MOST OF THE SUBJECTS WEAR BLACK LEATHER MOTORCYCLE VESTS/JACKETS WITH AFFIXED CLOTH PATCH INSIGNIA (SOME MILITARY ISSUE AND OTHER NON-MILITARY ISSUE, COMMEMORATIVE), AND ALL APPEAR TO WEAR DENIM JEANS AND BLACK LEATHER MOTORCYCLE BOOTS. THE GROUP IS POSED STANDING BEHIND AND KNEELING TO THE PROPER RIGHT- AND LEFT-HAND SIDE OF THE ASSOCIATED WISCONSIN HERO BIKE (VIVE (15409)), TO THE PROPER LEFT-HAND SIDE OF THE ASSOCIATED MEMORIAL PLAQUE (VIVE (10662)) & DOCUMENT BINDER (VIVE (10663)), AND FACING THE CAMERA DIRECTLY IN FRONT OF THE WALL. AT THE REVERSE OBJECT SURFACE, A WHITE PAPER ADHESIVE LABEL AFFIXED TO THE UPPER, PROPER RIGHT-HAND CORNER OF THE PICTURE FRAME FEATURES A FULL COLOR GRAPHIC RENDERING OF A UNITED STATES NATIONAL FLAG IN FLIGHT AT THE PROPER RIGHT-HAND SIDE AND BEARS PRINTED AND HANDWRITTEN CONTACT INFORMATION FOR THE DONOR IN BLACK & BLUE INK AND BLOCK SCRIPT/ARABIC NUMERALS, THUSLY, "ROBERT L. THOPMSON / 5030 COUNTY Q. / COLGATE, WI 53017-9722 / 262-628-4802 / PLEASE RETURN". AT THE UPPER, PROPER LEFT-HAND CORNER OF THE REVERSE OBJECT SURFACE A SECOND (2ND) WHITE PAPER ADHESIVE LABEL FEATURES A FULL COLOR PHOTOGRAPHIC REPRODUCTION OF FIVE (5) ITERATIONS OF THE UNITED STATES NATIONAL FLAG HANGING BETWEEN THE HELLENISTIC COLUMNS OF AN UNIDENTIFIED STRUCTURE AT THE CENTER OF THE LABEL. HANDWRITTEN INSCRIPTIONS IN BLUE INK AND BLOCK SCRIPT/ARABIC NUMERALS ALONG THE UPPER AND LOWER EDGES OF THIS LABEL PROVIDE DONOR CONTACT INFORMATION, THUSLY, "PLEASE RETURN TO / 414 3499124". THE PHOTOGRAPH DEPICTS MEMBERS OF THE "BIKE FOR THE WALL COMMITTEE", A GROUP OF WISCONSIN VIETNAM VETERANS AND MOTORCYCLE ENTHUSIASTS LED BY, "HOGMAN" BOB THOMPSON, "POLACK" & MARLENE PEZEWSKI, "SHOOTER" & DEB RUTKOWSKI, RON MUNGO OLESZAK, "KICKSTAND" & JEN, AND "GATOR" & CARLA "PIG HEART". THIS GROUP WAS RESPONSIBLE FOR PRODUCTION OF THE ASSOCIATED WISCONSIN HERO BIKE (VIVE (15409)), WHICH WAS BUILT IN HONOR OF THE THIRTY-SEVEN (37) WISCONSIN VIETNAM VETERANS LISTED BY THE DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE (DOD) AS POW*MIA AT THE TIME OF PRODUCTION. THE MOTORCYCLE INCORPORATES THE NAMES OF EACH OF THE "WISCONSIN 37" IN ORIGINAL PAINT DESIGNS BY U.S. MARINE CORPS VETERAN WOLFMAN "JACK" SHAULIK, WHILE A NON-MILITARY ISSUE, COMMEMORATIVE SERVICE IDENTIFICATION TAG (OR "DOG TAG") FOR EACH OF THE WISCONSIN 37 (VIVE (10660)) IS ALSO AFFIXED TO THE FRAME OF THE BIKE. CONSTRUCTION BEGAN ON THE BIKE AT WILLIE'S R&R SERVICE IN HARTFORD, WISCONSIN IN JUNE 1994 WITH DONATIONS OF CASH AND PARTS FROM SUPPORTERS THROUGHOUT THE STATE. THE BIKE WAS TAGGED WITH A LICENSE PLATE READING "HERO" [APRIL 1994], A PLATE REGISTERED TO THE PEOPLE OF WISCONSIN AND SUMMARILY RETIRED BY THE STATE'S GOVERNOR. AS A PART OF, "ROLLING THUNDER VIII / RUN TO THE WALL '95" THE BIKE LEFT MILWAUKEE, WISCONSIN ON THURSDAY, MAY 25TH AND REACHED THE VIETNAM VETERANS MEMORIAL (VVM) IN WASHINGTON, D.C. ON MAY 27, 1995 WHERE IT REMAINED ON PUBLIC DISPLAY AT THE APEX OF THE WALL FOR THREE (3) DAYS DURING THE MEMORIAL DAY HOLIDAY. ON MAY 29, 1995 THE BIKE WAS DELIVERED TO THE NATIONAL PARK SERVICE'S (NPS) MUSEUM RESOURCE CENTER (MRCE) AND FORMALLY ACCESSIONED INTO THE VIETNAM VETERANS MEMORIAL COLLECTION. THE SCENE DEPICTED IN THE PHOTOGRAPH WAS CAPTURED DURING DISPLAY OF THE MOTORCYCLE (VIVE (15409)), THE ASSOCIATED SERVICE IDENTIFICATION TAGS (VIVE (10660)), SADDLEBAG (VIVE (10661), MEMORIAL PLAQUE (VIVE (10662)), AND DOCUMENT BINDER DETAILING PRODUCTION OF THE BIKE (VIVE (10663)) AT THE APEX OF THE WALL ON MEMORIAL DAY WEEKEND, MAY 27 - 29, 1995. THE PHOTOGRAPH WAS FORMALLY ACCESSIONED INTO THE VIETNAM VETERANS MEMORIAL COLLECTION TWO (2) MONTHS AFTER THE ASSOCIATED OBJECTS, ON AUGUST 2, 1995. THE OBJECT IS ASSOCIATED WITH VIVE (10660 - 10663 & 15409). ACCORDING TO NPS/MRCE COLLECTIONS STAFF, THE ASSOCIATED DOCUMENT BINDER (VIVE (10663)) IS PRESENTLY MISSING AND UNACCOUNTED FOR.
  • Associated Item Text: Text of the printed and handwritten inscriptions upon the affixed adhesive paper labels is transcribed in full, as follows: [Reverse object surface, upper, proper right-hand corner, affixed label, printed inscription] "Robert L. Thompson / 5030 County Q. / Colgate, WI 53017-9722" / [Reverse object surface, upper, proper right-hand corner, affixed label, handwritten inscription] "262-628 4802" / [Reverse object surface, upper, proper left-hand corner, affixed label, handwritten inscription] "Please Return To / 414 3499124"
  • Item Dimensions and Weight:
    • Item Weight: 1350.0g
    • Item Length: 155.6cm
    • Item Width: 33.7cm
    • Item Height: N/A
    • Item Depth: N/A
  • Item Notes:THE OBJECT WAS PREVIOUSLY ASSOCIATED WITH THE PHOTOGRAPHIC IDENTIFICATION, "RACK11OBJ3".

    ACCORDING TO NPS/MRCE COLLECTIONS STAFF, THE ASSOCIATED DOCUMENT BINDER (VIVE (10663)) IS PRESENTLY MISSING AND UNACCOUNTED FOR.
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Items left at The Wall - The Virtual Collection

The Vietnam Veterans Memorial was dedicated on November 13, 1982. Shortly thereafter, visitors to the Memorial began leaving items in memoriam to those killed and missing service members listed on The Wall. These artifacts now collectively comprise the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Collection -- a museum collection of more than 400,000 items held in the public trust by the National Park Service. Today, this Collection is among the largest and most actively researched collections in the National Capital Region.

The Collection is jointly curated by National Mall and Memorial Parks and the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund (VVMF). The VVMF is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit that relies upon public donations to continue its work, and receives no federal funding.