IN MEMORY 2020 AND COVID-19
(Updated 01/22/2021– 4:00 pm EST)
We know that all of our 2020 families are anxious to know when they will be able to honor their loved ones at an in-person ceremony and so are we. For numerous reasons we have not been able to set a date for a ceremony yet.
- Washington, D.C., where the ceremony is held, is still in Phase 2 of re-opening.
- Phase 2 Guidelines:
- Outdoor gatherings are currently restricted to no more than 25 people. Our ceremony normally hosts over 2,000 people.
- Anyone coming into Washington, D.C. from a high-risk state who was traveling for non-essential activities will be required to self-quarantine for 14 days from their arrival in the District.
- Indoor gatherings are limited to 10 people. Our Friday night reception normally hosts 500 people.
- Phase 2 Guidelines:
- With the surge of COVID-19 cases across the country recently we are not comfortable setting a date for an event that could cause the preventable spread of this virus.
We are still optimistic that we will be able to have the ceremony on our usual Father’s Day weekend. Please be assured that our 2020 families will be the first to know once we have any updates on when we will be able to hold a ceremony.
Read the full announcement at: https://www.vvmf.org/News/2020-In-Memory-Ceremony-Cancelled/
Learn more at: https://www.vvmf.org/News/COVID-19/
Click here to get your 2020 In Memory t-shirts: https://www.vvmf.org/im2020/
HOST HOTEL FOR IN MEMORY WEEKEND 2020
Crystal Gateway Marriott
1700 Richmond Hwy, Arlington, VA 22202
If you currently have reservations at our host hotel, the Crystal Gateway Marriott, YOUR RESERVATION WILL BE CANCELLED – you will receive a cancellation e-mail for any September dates that you booked as part of the In Memory room block, from Marriott. If you booked outside of the In Memory room block you will need to cancel your reservation on your own.
When is the 2020 ceremony?
We are hoping to be able to hold our annual In Memory ceremony at our normal time, the Saturday before Father’s Day in 2021. With the uncertainty of the COVID-19 pandemic we do not have a date officially set at this time. We will notify our 2020 families as soon as a decision has been made.”
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 2020 ceremony has been cancelled due to the pandemic and at this time we don’t want to confirm another ceremony date. Our hope is to be able to host the ceremony in June of 2021.
The Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund welcomes all friends and family members of past Honoree’s to join us for the In Memory Weekend.