IN MEMORY CEREMONY AND COVID-19
(Updated 06/18/2021– 10:00 am EST)
2020 and 2021 In Memory Ceremony dates have been set for October 2021.
2020 In Memory:
The ceremony to honor our 2020 In Memory honorees will be on Friday, October 15th at 10 a.m. Click here to see the full list of 2020 In Memory honorees. Click here for 2020 In Memory press releases.
2021 In Memory:
The ceremony to honor our 2021 In Memory honorees will be on Saturday, October 16 at 10 a.m. Click here to see the full list of 2021 In Memory honorees. Click here for 2021 In Memory press releases.
When considering if you can attend a ceremony in October please keep the following in mind:
With the relaxing of the COVID-19 restrictions in Washington, D.C., we will NOT have to limit the number of attendees for the October In Memory ceremonies.
Please note that all attendees are strongly encouraged to wear masks for the events, if not fully vaccinated.
While we understand that this date may not work for everyone, we sincerely hope that everyone will be able to attend. Please know though – that if you cannot attend – we will still honor your loved one. A volunteer will take your honoree’s tribute to the stage and read their name. We will continue with our plans to livestream the event on our Facebook page so that you can watch from home. If you are not able to attend the ceremony the applicant will receive a mailing, after the ceremony in October, consisting of a copy of the Yearbook, the honoree’s personal Tribute Certificate, an In Memory pin and a DVD of the ceremony.
For your planning purposes – we will still be holding the optional In Memory Family Welcome Gatherings the night before each ceremony. These are ticketed events and tickets will go on sale online only at a later date. E-mail notifications will go out when tickets are on sale. There will be no activity/event on Sunday since the event is not on Father’s Day weekend.
Closer to the ceremony date everyone will be asked to officially RSVP for ceremony attendance, bus transportation, etc. This allows us to make sure we rent enough chairs for the ceremony as well as buses for transportation. Email notifications will go out closer to the ceremony date when we need this RSVP, and everyone will be asked to include the names of everyone in your party at that time.
For information on past participants please click here.
Host Hotel Information
Marriott Crystal Gateway – THE HOST HOTEL ROOM BLOCK IS FULLY BOOKED
1700 Richmond Highway Arlington, VA 22202
THE HOST HOTEL ROOM BLOCK IS FULLY BOOKED.
To check if any cancellations have been made and rooms have become available click here.
Due to the overwhelming response, the host hotel is currently sold out at this time. However, cancellations will occur and we encourage you to continue to check the provided link above for openings.
Listed below are other hotels in the Crystal City area that are recommended for your stay. Please note that we do not have discounted rates/room blocks at these hotels but we encourage you to check for all discounts that you may be eligible for including Senior/AARP rates, AAA rates, etc. The hotels are listed in the order of how close they are to the host hotel. Hotels in the Washington, D.C. area charge for parking so please plan accordingly.
Please note: The buses provided by VVMF only pick up and drop off at the host hotel. You are still welcome to use the buses if you stay at a different hotel, but you will have to find your own way to the pick up point at the host hotel.
Westin Crystal City – right across the street from the host hotel
Embassy Suites by Hilton Crystal City National Airport – .2 mile from host hotel
Hampton Inn & Suites Reagan National Airport – .2 mile from host hotel
Crowne Plaza Crystal City – .4 mile from host hotel
Holiday Inn National Airport – .6 mile from host hotel
Hyatt Regency Crystal City – .8 mile from host hotel
ADDITIONAL HOTELS IN WASHINGTON, D.C.
If you prefer to stay in Washington, D.C., these are the two closest hotels in proximity to the Memorial site. Please note that while these may be considered in walking distance to the site of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial that “walking distance” is subjective and for anyone with mobility issues, we would not consider this walking distance.
State Plaza Hotel
The Hotel Hive
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?
The ceremony for our 2020 honorees will be held on Friday, October 15, 2021 at 10 a.m.
When is the 2021 ceremony?
The ceremony for our 2021 honorees will be held on Saturday, October 16, 2021 at 10 a.m.
When is the 2022 ceremony?
A date for the 2022 In Memory ceremony as not been set.
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.
I have seen T-shirts with honoree names on them. How do I get one?
Each year VVMF hosts a limited time sales campaign to purchase shirts that list the names of all honorees for that year. All accepted applicants will be emailed when the shirt sale is happening and will have the opportunity to purchase. Proceeds from these sales go directly towards the cost of hosting the In Memory weekend of events.
With the relaxing of the COVID-19 restrictions in Washington, D.C. we will not have to limit the number of attendees for the October In Memory ceremonies. That means we will be able to continue with our tradition of inviting all past participants to read their loved one’s name during the ceremony.
A couple of important notes:
- Due to the number of honorees/size of the crowd, we will be hosting two ceremonies in October. Past participants are invited to read their loved one’s name at the ceremony inducting 2021 honorees being held on Saturday, October 16th only.
- There will be no past participant name reading at the Friday, October 15th ceremony inducting 2020 honorees.
- Closer to the ceremony date we will be asking all past participants to RSVP for the Saturday, October 16th NEW THIS YEAR: The RSVP will be required in order to read your loved one’s name on stage.
- In the past we have made the host hotel room block available for past participants to book at the discounted rate. We, understandably, gave priority to our 2020 and 2021 families for these rooms. At this time, the host hotel room block is fully booked. We do have additional hotels in the area listed above. Please note that these hotels are not offering a discounted rate/room block but we encourage you to check for all discounts that you may be eligible for (senior/AARP, AAA rate, etc.).
- We will still be making the VVMF provided buses available to our past participants. The VVMF provided buses will pick up and drop off from the host hotel (Crystal Gateway Marriott). If you are not staying at the host hotel but would like to use them as your transportation to/from the Saturday ceremony you will have to provide your own way to the pickup point at the host hotel. Closer to the ceremony date we will also be asking you to RSVP if you will be using these buses.
- The annual In Memory Reading of the Names of past honorees will be done virtually this year. In the past, we read the names of all of those previously honored through the program at the plaque the morning of the ceremony. This has become an increasingly larger task as we add hundreds of honorees each year. We received such a great response to our virtual Reading of the Names that we have decided to make our reading virtual each year so that more people are able to hear their loved one’s name read. The virtual reading will be on our Facebook page and website the morning before the October 16, 2021 ceremony and will include all honored from 1993-2020.