Because of You 2023
Because of you, VVMF can carry out its mission to honor and preserve the legacy of service in America and educate all generations about the impact of the Vietnam War and era.
A few highlights of what we accomplished in 2023 because of YOU:
- · Hosted nearly four million visitors at The Wall in Washington, D.C., including many veteran and student groups met by VVMF staff for tours and help with name rubbings.
- · Recognized the repatriation of three service members on The Wall who were accounted for in 2022 and changed statuses on The Wall accordingly. Repatriations were recognized at our annual Memorial Day Ceremony.
- · Presented two Lifetime Service Awards as part of the 2023 Veterans Day ceremony at The Wall. Diane Carlson Evans, the founder of the Vietnam Women’s Memorial, and BG George Price, Vietnam veteran and long-time supporter of the Memorial, were honored for their many years of service to VVMF and Vietnam veterans.
- · VVMF’s Wall of Faces – which features at least one photo for each service member whose name is inscribed on The Wall – was viewed 2.7 million times in 2023 and those online visitors left more than 48,000 remembrances this year. Nearly 9,700 additional photos were submitted to the Wall of Faces by visitors and volunteers. Each was reviewed, rated, and posted to the appropriate page as we continue efforts to find the best possible photo for those on The Wall.
- · The Wall That Heals exhibit was on the road for nearly 18,000 miles and visited 32 communities across the country during its 2023 season. We were escorted by 2,865 vehicles into those communities, and we were able to spread The Wall’s healing legacy to more than 222,000 visitors. Guided tours of the exhibit were provided to more than 21,000 visitors. By year’s end, we announced that we’ll be headed to Hawaii for the first time ever in 2024.
- · As part of our 2023 In Memory Ceremony weekend, we inducted 566 new honorees. We welcomed more than 2,000 family members, friends and loved ones to Washington, D.C. for the induction ceremony. There were 600 guests in attendance at the In Memory Welcome Dinner. There are now more than 6,500 Vietnam veterans honored through the In Memory program.
- · VVMF’s online registry for all Vietnam and Vietnam era veterans to connect with each other continued to grow with nearly 2,000 veterans now part of the registry. Veterans can share and preserve their stories through the registry, while connecting themselves to those on The Wall and in VVMF’s In Memory program.
- · Published 21 new episodes of our podcast, Echoes of the Vietnam War. The podcast has now been listened to more than 283,000 times — which means we grew more than 70% faster than the previous year. Listeners in 2023 came from more than 165 countries.
- · At The Wall, we sealed known cracks in the granite for more than half of all panels of The Wall. We repaired and replaced custom lights that were out along the walkway in front of The Wall and we ordered a granite walkway paver to replace one that became damaged, while obtaining additional stock for future maintenance.
- · Replaced dozens of bushes around the Three Servicemen Statue and cared for the planting bed throughout the year.
- · Cleaned and completed conservation of the Three Servicemen Statue and In Memory Plaque four times throughout the year.
- VVMF assumed maintenance responsibility for the Vietnam Women’s Memorial under our partnership with NPS and we went to work right away – raising the curb stones around the plaza that had sunk more than four inches over the years. We also replaced one of the eight memorial trees around the statue plaza, which had been dead for two years. Our conservator cleaned and treated the statue patina twice during the year.
- · Completed 3-D scanning of both the Three Servicemen Statue and the Vietnam Women’s Memorial statue to allow replacement in the event there is ever catastrophic damage.
- · Laid nearly 3,000 roses at The Wall on Father’s Day to honor the fathers on The Wall, those that never had the chance to become fathers, and those fathers who returned home from serving in Vietnam and later died.
- · Held our fourth annual Agent Orange Awareness Day on August 10th – the anniversary of the first day that Agent Orange was thought to be sprayed in Vietnam. More than 1,800 orange candles were laid at the Memorial site, bringing awareness and encouraging others to do the same in their local communities.
- · Held our third annual PTSD Awareness Day on June 27th. More than 1,800 teal candles were laid at the Memorial site, bringing awareness and encouraging others to do the same in their local communities.
- · Commemorated National Vietnam War Veterans Day with a ceremony at The Wall in partnership with two Vietnam Veterans of America (VVA) Chapters on March 29th.
- · Shared education content with more than 1,200 individuals through our “Teaching the Vietnam War and Era” Facebook group.
- · VVMF’s education and outreach efforts included presentations on the Vietnam War and The Wall in classrooms, churches, conferences and museums across the country.
- · Completed and shipped nearly 3,000 free name rubbings for those that can’t make it to The Wall.
- · Honored our “Yellow Hat” volunteers with an appreciation luncheon to thank them for many long hours spent at The Wall helping visitors.
- · Welcomed more than 4,000 new members to our In Memory Facebook community. Now, more than 22,000 family members, friends, and loved ones have a space to connect and share their stories of love and loss for peer-to-peer support.
Thank you for making this all possible. We couldn’t do it without you!