IN MEMORY 2020 AND COVID-19
(Updated 03/26/2020 – 11:55 am EST)
Here at VVMF, we are wrestling with the same new realities as all Americans today dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic. We have to make decisions about our upcoming events in Washington, D.C. and what is in the best interest of our attendees, volunteers and staff.
We are exploring all of our options – including the possibility of moving the 2020 ceremony to the Fall. We are in discussions with our host hotel about options of when they could accommodate us. We know that moving the ceremony to a new date is not ideal but we have to put the health and safety of our attendees first and we want to make sure you all have the opportunity to come to D.C. and say your honoree’s name in person, if you would like to do that.
Our goal is to make a decision on the ceremony date no later than April 15th so that our attendees will have time to adjust travel and schedules as needed. This is an evolving situation and we appreciate your patience.
Learn more at: https://www.vvmf.org/News/COVID-19/
Friday Night Reception
Date: Friday June 19, 2020
Time: 5:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m.
Location: Host Hotel – Crystal Gateway Marriott
This reception – held at the host hotel – gives attendees the opportunity to reach out to VVMF staff with last minute questions, joins families together to share stories about their honorees and gives everyone a first look at their honorees personal page on the online Honor Roll. There is a charge to attend this optional event and seating is limited. Tickets will go on sale online in late March and will be on a first come, first serve basis. Dinner is included with the reception.
Past Honoree Reading of the Names
Date: Saturday, June 20, 2020
Start Time: 7:00 a.m.
Location: In Memory plaque – located by the Three Servicemen Statue overlooking the Memorial
Every year, before the annual In Memory ceremony, volunteers read the names of all past honorees at the In Memory plaque. This is separate from the annual In Memory ceremony and is an optional activity. Past honorees whose loved ones are in attendance for the annual In Memory ceremony will also be able to read their past honoree names during the ceremony. All current year honoree names are read during the annual In Memory ceremony. Please note that the VVMF provided buses for the ceremony do not start transporting until 7:30 a.m. If you wish to arrive earlier for this event you will need to provide your own transportation.
In Memory Day Ceremony
Date: Saturday June 20, 2020
Start Time: 10:00 a.m.
Location: East Knoll of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial
Coming Soon: RSVP to the In Memory Ceremony
If you can’t be with us – we will be streaming the ceremony live on Facebook. We hope you will join us and watch the ceremony live. Click here and “like” VVMF’s main Facebook page and you will be notified when the livestream begins (June 20 at 10am EST).
Father’s Day Rose Remembrance
Date: Sunday June 21, 2020
Start Time: 10:00 a.m.
Location: Vietnam Veterans Memorial
You will have the opportunity to sponsor a rose with a personal note in memory of your loved one for this activity. Details on how to sponsor a rose will be announced in May.
Coming Soon: Sponsor a Father’s Day rose and message
Where is the closest airport?
Ronald Reagan National Airport (DCA) is 15 minutes from downtown Washington, D.C.
Alternative airports: Dulles International (IAD) is approximately 45 minutes from Washington, D.C and Baltimore Washington International (BWI) is approximately 1 hour from Washington, D.C.
Can I take Amtrak?
Washington, DC (WAS) Union Station is about 20 minutes from The Wall. We recommend that you utilize the metro or a taxi. Union Station has its own stop on the Metro.
Is there parking available at the Ceremony?
Parking is very limited so we recommend utilizing public transportation. Please note that parking along Constitution Avenue and many of the streets around the national mall is now paid/metered parking with a time limit. For more information, please see the National Park Service website here: https://www.nps.gov/nama/planyourvisit/parking-meter-faq.htm
If you have any questions about handicapped parking, please contact the National Park Service public affairs at 202.619.7222.
What is the closest Metro stop?
There are two metro stops within walking distance to the Memorial. Foggy Bottom/George Washington University, blue, orange and silver line, is the closest stop – turn right at the top of the stairs and walk south on 23rd Street about six blocks and that will bring you right to the Memorial. Smithsonian, blue, orange or silver line, is about twice as far as the Foggy Bottom stop – at top of escalator you will be facing the Capitol, turn around and walk west past the Washington Monument until you reach the Vietnam Veterans Memorial entrance around 21st and Constitution Avenue.
Where can I get a Taxi/Uber/Lyft?
Taxis are usually available along Constitution Avenue. If you are trying to take an Uber/Lyft to get there, the address that a visitor should use is: Constitution Ave NW & 21st St NW, Washington, DC 20245.
When is the 2020 ceremony?
Saturday, June 20th, 2020
Will VVMF pay for or arrange my travel to Washington, D.C.?
While we hope all family members can attend, VVMF cannot pay for or arrange your travel to Washington, D.C. We do provide bus transportation from the host hotel to and from the ceremony. Discounted hotel rate information will be available closer to the ceremony.
How is the In Memory program/ceremony funded?
The Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund is a nonprofit organization that is supported by private donors, like you. Your donations make it possible for us to maintain this program so critical to our efforts to promote healing and education, to hold the ceremony annually and to continue honoring many more veterans’ service and sacrifice. Please consider making a donation and support the In Memory program.
How long is the ceremony?
Ceremony length depends on how many veterans are being honored each year. In 2019, we honored 534 veterans and the ceremony lasted about four hours. The ceremony begins promptly at 10:00am on Saturday morning. Plan to arrive no later than 9:45am to check in.
Will there be seating at the ceremony?
Yes, seating is provided for the ceremony. We will ask for you to RSVP to ensure we arrange for the proper number of chairs, but there is no reserved seating.
How far is it from the bus drop-off to the ceremony location?
The buses drop off about 500 feet from the ceremony.
How far away are the bathrooms?
The closest bathrooms are about 300 feet from the ceremony location.
Will there be wheelchairs available?
Although we do not provide wheelchairs, the ceremony area is typically wheelchair accessible. The ceremony is held on the grassy area and can be somewhat difficult to maneuver – especially if the ground is wet.
What is the dress code?
There is no specific dress code. Past participant attire has ranged from casual dress to church dress. We recommend that you dress for the weather. The ceremony will be held rain or shine. Should it rain, the area can become muddy. We recommend that you wear comfortable shoes that are not easily damaged.
It can be very hot and humid during the ceremony as it takes place in the open grass near the Memorial and there is limited shade. We recommend that you bring at least one bottle of water for each member of your party. Hats and sunscreen are also strongly encouraged.
Will I be reading my honorees name at the ceremony?
Yes, you have the opportunity to read your loved one’s name during the In Memory Honor Roll Call. Our Master of Ceremonies will indicate when the reading of the names will begin. When you are at the microphone, please read your loved one’s name only. You may add their relationship to you, for example, “my husband, John Doe.” Out of respect to other families, please refrain from making additional remarks. If you are unable to attend the ceremony, a volunteer will take your honoree’s tribute to the stage and read your honoree’s name. You will then be sent two copies of the personal tribute certificate and one yearbook.
What is the personal tribute certificate?
The personal tribute certificate is a 9″ x 12″ certificate created by VVMF that contains the honoree’s name, photos, date of birth, date of death, dates of service in Vietnam and branch of service.
What do I do with the personal tribute certificate?
The personal tribute certificate is yours to take home as a lasting keepsake.
Will there be a photographer?
Yes, VVMF provides a professional photographer at the ceremony. The photos will be available (about one week after the ceremony) for purchase on our website. Last year’s photos can be seen here. You will also be able to purchase additional copies of the personal tribute certificate after the ceremony.
Will this event be televised?
At this time it is not planned to have the ceremony televised, although we do plan to live stream the ceremony on our Facebook page. Please like our page to ensure you will be notified of the livestream and to stay up to date on the In Memory program.
The Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund welcomes all friends and family members of past Honoree’s to join us for the In Memory Weekend, Friday June 19, 2020 – Sunday June 21, 2020.
We also invite you to take part by reading your loved one’s name during the ceremony. We also encourage you to volunteer to read other past participants names during the Past Honoree Reading of the Names, prior to the start of the ceremony. All of the past participants names will be read on Saturday June 20, 2020 starting at 7:00 a.m at the In Memory Plaque.
VVMF will be requesting that past participants RSVP to the 2020 ceremony. Details coming soon.