Veterans salute after laying wreaths at The Wall during VVMF's Memorial Day Observance, 2014. Photo Credit/Jules Clifford.
The 33rd annual Memorial Day Observance at The Wall, hosted jointly by the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund and the National Park Service, will be held at 1:00 p.m. on May 25th. The ceremony is a special opportunity to pay tribute to America’s armed forces and to those who have made the ultimate sacrifice in Vietnam and in all conflicts. It is a day to reflect on the more than 58,000 names on The Wall and remember those service members whose lives were cut short.
This year we’ll welcome thousands of veterans and their family members from around the country to Washington, D.C. for this annual observance. Speakers will include representatives of VVMF, NPS, and the Vietnam Women’s Memorial Foundation.
The introduction will be given by Jan Scruggs, founder and president of VVMF, and the ceremony will include the traditional presentation of colors, singing of the national anthem and Pledge of Allegiance. Diane Carlson Evans, founder and president of the Vietnam Women’s Memorial Foundation, will speak on their behalf.
A special focus for this year’s ceremony will be the Vietnam Medal of Honor recipients. As part of the ceremony, the United States Postal Service will dedicate the 2015 Medal of Honor: Vietnam Forever® stamps. The Medal of Honor is the highest award for valor in action against an enemy force which can be bestowed upon an individual serving in the Armed Services of the United States. It is generally presented to its recipient by the President of the United States of America in the name of Congress.
There have been 258 Medals of Honor awarded for actions related to the Vietnam War. There are 159 recipients listed on The Wall. At this time, there are 54 living Vietnam Medal of Honor recipients.
On December 17, 1964, Army Special Forces Captain Roger Donlon became the first Medal of Honor hero of the Vietnam War. The most recent recipients in 2014 were Army Sergeant First Class Bennie G. Adkins and Army Specialist Fourth Class Donald P. Sloat.
At the conclusion of the ceremony, wreaths from more than 20 organizations are placed at the base of the Memorial. The ceremony ends will the traditional playing of “Amazing Grace” on the bagpipes followed by TAPS.
Ceremonies at The Wall are made possible by generous contributions from our supporters. For the latest information about the Memorial Day ceremony, and to RSVP for seating, please go here.