- Catalog Number:VIVE 35927
- Accession Date:6/24/1991
- Item Summary:Wedding invitation dedicated to U.S. Army Private First Class (PFC) Terry Walker Cressel. The invitation pertains to the marriage of, "Kimberly Michelle Cressel" to, "Robert John Matuozak" at, "Bon Air Baptist Church / 800 North Illinois Street / Arlington, Virginia" on June 15, 1991, and bears a handwritten inscription from the bride-to-be reading, ""I miss you daddy! / Sure do wish you were here! / Love, / Michelle". The artifact was left at The Wall by Kimberly Michelle Cressel in June 1991.
- Catalog Number:VIVE 36116
- Accession Date:6/24/1991
- Item Summary:Artifact assemblage dedicated to U.S. Army Staff Sergeant (SSG) Clifford William Silvia and consisting of a handwritten letter (with affixed black & white photographic print) and a faux flower bouquet. The letter is addressed, "My Precious Son", is signed, "As I used to end my letters to you in Nam / I love you - I miss you & say your prayers / Love Mom", is dated, "June 22, 1991", and in content recalls how SSG Silvia used to pick bouquets of wild daffodil for his mother as a child. An excerpt from the letter reads, "I hope that you and Dad are together looking down on Sis Cathy and her family and me [...] I have had to become a lot stronger with both of you gone - In another month you will have been gone 24yrs, the pain and heartache are as painful today as they were than [sic]." The artifact assemblage was left at The Wall by the mother of SSG Silvia on June 22, 1991.
- Catalog Number:VIVE 35933
- Accession Date:6/24/1991
- Associated Name(s) on The Wall: N/A
- Item Summary:Handwritten letter. The letter is addressed, "Dear Bobby", is signed, "Love, / Donna", is dated, "June 20, 1991", and opens with the line, "August 3rd will mark twenty years since you were taken away." In content, the author addresses Bobby twenty (20) years after his death in Vietnam on August 3, 1971 in order to, "[...] pay my respects" and to answer questions about their interrupted love affair. The author acknowledges that, "Parents interfered, as is the case with young lovers", and notes that, "You must have wondered why I had not returned your letters. / I was not even aware you had written until several months later. / My mother had interfered one final time." Donna closes her letter to Bobby with the lines, "Even though all this time has passed and I'm married with a family of my own, you will always have a special place in my heart. / After all you were my "first love"." The artifact was left at The Wall by a donor identified only as, "Donna" on June 20, 1991.
- Accession Group:VIVE-00086
- Record Component Qty:1
- Item Description:HANDWRITTEN LETTER. THE OBJECT CONSISTS OF A LETTER HANDWRITTEN IN BLACK INK AND CURSIVE SCRIPT/ARABIC NUMERALS UPON A RECTANGULARLY SHAPED SHEET OF WHITE, UNLINED PAPER. THE LETTER IS ADDRESSED, "DEAR BOBBY", IS SIGNED, "LOVE, / DONNA", IS DATED, "JUNE 20, 1991", AND OPENS WITH THE LINE, "AUGUST 3RD WILL MARK TWENTY YEARS SINCE YOU WERE TAKEN AWAY." IN CONTENT, THE AUTHOR ADDRESSES HER FIRST (1ST) LOVE, "BOBBY" TWENTY (20) YEARS AFTER HIS DEATH IN VIETNAM ON AUGUST 3, 1971 IN ORDER TO, "[...] PAY MY RESPECTS" AND TO ANSWER QUESTIONS ABOUT THEIR INTERRUPTED LOVE AFFAIR. THE AUTHOR BEGINS BY ADMITTING THAT THE TWO (2) HAD SOME GREAT YEARS TOGETHER, BUT ACKNOWLEDGES THAT, "PARENTS INTERFERED, AS IS THE CASE WITH YOUNG LOVERS" ENDING THE RELATIONSHIP BEFORE BOBBY LEFT FOR SERVICE IN VIETNAM. SHE THEN EXPRESSES THE WISH THAT, "[...] YOU COULD HAVE KNOWN HOW MUCH YOU WERE IN MY THOUGHTS EVEN THOUGH WE WERE SEPARATED BEFORE YOU LEFT", AND RECOUNTS NIGHTLY PRAYERS FOR BOBBY'S SAFETY. DONNA SUBSEQUENTLY NOTES THAT, "YOU MUST HAVE WONDERED WHY I HAD NOT RETURNED YOUR LETTERS" AND EXPLAINS THAT, "I WAS NOT EVEN AWARE YOU HAD WRITTEN UNTIL SEVERAL MONTHS LATER. / MY MOTHER HAD INTERFERED ONE FINAL TIME." THE AUTHOR THEN CLOSES HER LETTER WITH THE LINES, "EVEN THOUGH ALL THIS TIME HAS PASSED [...] YOU WILL ALWAYS HAVE A SPECIAL PLACE IN MY HEART. / AFTER ALL YOU WERE MY "FIRST LOVE"." A POLY-PLASTIC SHEET PROTECTOR REFERENCED IN THE ORIGINAL VIVE CATALOG RECORD WAS NOT OBSERVED AT THE TIME OF CURATION BY VVMF STAFF. ACCORDING TO VIVE CATALOG RECORDS PREPARED BY MRCE COLLECTIONS STAFF, THE NPS RANGER'S LOG ENTRY CORRESPONDING TO THIS ARTIFACT IS IDENTIFIED AS FOLLOWS, "# 6/375".
- Associated Item Text: Text of the handwritten inscriptions upon the obverse object surface is transcribed in full, as follows: "June 20, 1991 / Dear Bobby, / August 3rd will mark twenty years since you were taken away. / I have come to pay my respects, as you were a "respected American soldier." / I know that was real im-portant [sic] to you. / We had a couple of great years together, so much life packed into such a short time. / I'm glad for that time, no one can ever take that away. / Just as I had unanswered questions before you left for Viet Nam, I know you must have had some too. / Parents interfered, as is the case with young lovers. / I wish you could have known how much you were in my thoughts even though we were separated before you left. / I prayed every night that you would be all right. / That was not the case and on July 26, 1971 you're [sic] worst nightmare came true. / I know you must have been in great pain before you died eight days later. / I wish I could have been there with you. / You must have wondered why I had not returned your letters. / I was not even aware you had written until several months later. / My mother had interfered one final time. / Even though all this time has passed and I'm married with a family of my own, you will always have a special place in my heart. / After all you were my "first love". / Love, / Donna"
Item Dimensions and Weight:
- Item Weight: 11.9g
- Item Length: 29.0cm
- Item Width: 23.5cm
- Item Height: N/A
- Item Depth: N/A
- Item Notes:A POLY-PLASTIC SHEET PROTECTOR REFERENCED IN THE ORIGINAL VIVE CATALOG RECORD WAS NOT OBSERVED AT THE TIME OF CURATION BY VVMF STAFF. ACCORDING TO VIVE CATALOG RECORDS PREPARED BY MRCE COLLECTIONS STAFF, THE NPS RANGER'S LOG ENTRY CORRESPONDING TO THIS ARTIFACT IS IDENTIFIED AS FOLLOWS, "# 6/375".
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.