Fewer than 5,000 photos needed to put a face to every name on The Wall

Washington, D.C. – In the midst of the airing of the groundbreaking film series called The Vietnam War, the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund (VVMF) achieved a major milestone in remembering those who died and those who are still missing.  Through its Wall of Faces project to collect a photo for every one of the 58,318 names on the Memorial Wall, less than 5,000 are still needed to complete the project.

“We were ecstatic to receive photos today that pushed us past this milestone!  Putting a face to each name helps people understand the true cost of war, to drive home the fact that every name on The Wall represents a real person with a life cut short,” said Jim Knotts president and CEO of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund (VVMF), the nonprofit organization that founded The Wall.  “Each photo represents a family and friends forever changed.  The Wall of Faces also allows family members, friends and comrades to leave remembrances and stay connected to those they lost.

“Reaching this milestone would not be possible without dedicated volunteers across the country who have been looking for the photos.  They are researching to contact families, going through high school yearbooks, and even viewing obituary notices on newspaper microfiche.  We are so appreciative of their dedication to put faces to names,” continued Knotts.

“We live in a dangerous world, one that seems to reflect the Vietnam period in so many ways,” said Knotts.  “Let’s hope that by truly understanding the human costs of war, our nation makes thoughtful decisions before committing troops in the future.”

The Vietnam Veterans Memorial was dedicated in 1982 with a promise to never forget the service members who served and sacrificed in the Vietnam War. The Wall of Faces effort to collect a photo of each service member on The Wall began in 2009.

Reaching this milestone comes as VVMF commemorates the 35th anniversary of The Wall in 2017, culminating with the traditional Reading of the Names event around Veterans Day during which volunteers read all 58,318 names in front of The Wall.

There are 24 states who have found every photo for their state’s fallen. The completed states include:

New Mexico
North Carolina
North Dakota
Rhode Island
South Dakota

Submitted photos currently are available on VVMF’s Wall of Faces.  In the future, the photos will also be displayed at the Education Center at The Wall – an interactive learning facility to be built on the National Mall. To learn more about the future Education Center, please visit: http://www.buildthecenter.org/

To learn about The Wall’s 35th anniversary and ways that you can “’keep the promise,“ please visit: www.vvmf.org.