Photo credit: Donna Prince
There are 58,300 names on the Vietnam Veterans Memorial; names of men and women who died on the battlefield of the Vietnam War. Those men and women are honored on a daily basis by everyone who sees The Wall. But many thousands more died as a result of the Vietnam War, but their deaths do not fit the Department of Defense criteria for inclusion upon The Wall. On In Memory Day, the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund (VVMF) honors this special group of Vietnam veterans: those who have faced daily difficulties and whose lives have been cut short by their service.
In Memory Day falls on Flag Day this year. VVMF believes this is particularly appropriate as the suffering of these veterans endured far longer than the time spent in combat, making them examples of patriotism and sacrifice for all Americans. The ceremony also falls within PTSD Awareness Month for the Department of Veterans Affairs. Tragically, 50,000 to 100,000 Vietnam veterans have committed suicide, according to a study conducted by the Centers for Disease Control.
On June 14, 2014 from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m., VVMF will host more than 1,000 attendees at the annual ceremony on the East Knoll of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial. This year, 131 individuals will be honored during the ceremony. The master of ceremonies will be Capt. Denis Faherty, USN (ret.) and former Deputy Director of the National Strategic War Gaming Center, National Defense University.
The keynote speaker for the day will be Annette Conway, spouse of General James T. Conway, 34th Commandant of the United States Maries Corps. Mrs. Conway’s brother, Dan Drury (U.S. Army, SPC E5) served in Vietnam and later died of Agent Orange-related cancer. Drury is being inducted into this year’s In Memory Honor Roll.
The In Memory Honor Roll is available here: http://www.vvmf.org/inmemory
The In Memory Day ceremony is a solemn ceremony attended by friends and family and includes the presentation of Colors and the singing of the National Anthem. During the ceremony, the names of all the honorees are read aloud and certificates bearing the honorees' names are placed at The Wall. These certificates are later collected by the National Park Service and stored in a permanent archive.
About VVMF and the Education Center at The Wall
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.
The Education Center at The Wall will be a place on our National Mall where our military heroes' stories and sacrifice will never be forgotten. With plans to begin construction in 2016, the Center is a technologically-innovative learning facility to be built on the grounds of the Vietnam Veterans and Lincoln Memorials. Visitors will better understand the profound impact that the Vietnam War and other wars had on their friends and family members, their hometowns and the nation. The Center will feature the faces and stories of the more than 58,000 men and women on The Wall, honoring those who fell in Vietnam, those who fought and returned, as well as the friends and families of all who served. The Center will also celebrate the legacy of service that links the heroes of America’s past to those still serving today.
Learn more about the Education Center at The Wall by visiting www.vvmf.org or by calling 866-990-WALL.