2020 In Memory Ceremony Postponed to September

(Posted 04/7/2020 – 10:00 am EST)

After great consideration, the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund (VVMF) has made the decision to postpone the 2020 In Memory ceremony due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Instead of holding the ceremony on June 20th, we are now making plans for the ceremony to be held on September 26th. This was a difficult decision as we know some families have been planning for more than a year to be here for the ceremony, but we had no choice considering the health and safety of all involved and new restrictions being issued by local governments.

We worked with our host hotel, the Crystal Gateway Marriott, to ensure that they could accommodate our group on these new dates at the same discounted rate of $149 plus tax per night. If you currently have reservations at the Gateway, YOUR RESERVATION WILL BE CANCELLED – you will receive a cancellation e-mail for any June dates that you booked as part of the In Memory room block. This was a hotel decision because they couldn’t automatically change someone’s reservation without their individual commitment, and there was nothing VVMF could do about it.

To make a reservation for September – YOU WILL HAVE TO RE-BOOK ON A FIRST COME FIRST SERVE BASIS. The host hotel as agreed to provide us a new link to make the September reservations within the next 10 days. As soon as they provide that to us, we will email it out to you. If you have a reservation in June that does not guarantee you will have a reservation in September – you will have to re-book for September. Before we send the new link out please do not try to book your new reservation or call the hotel – the host hotel cannot make the new reservations for our group at this time.

While we understand that this new date may not work for everyone, we sincerely hope that you 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 September, consisting of a copy of the 2020 Yearbook, the honoree’s personal Tribute Certificate and a DVD of the ceremony.

For your planning purposes – we will still be holding the optional In Memory Family Welcome Gathering the evening prior to the ceremony. This is a ticketed event and tickets will go on sale online only at a later date. You will receive an e-mail notification when tickets are on sale. There will be no activity/event on Sunday now as the event is no longer on Father’s Day weekend.

We also will be moving forward with a 2020 In Memory t-shirt that includes the names of all 2020 honorees. When those go on sale, you will receive an e-mail notification as well.

While we normally do not add honorees to the online In Memory Honor Roll until after the ceremony, we will go ahead and add 2020 honoree pages to our website in June as planned. We will send out an e-mail when those pages are live. Also, while The Wall That Heals mobile exhibit is idle right now due to cancellations related to the pandemic, we know that many of you were planning trips to see the exhibit once your honoree’s photo would be included (in their home state) so we’ve made the decision to go ahead and include 2020 honoree photos in the exhibit beginning with our visit to Chisholm, MN on June 25th. Please note that we may see more disruptions in our 2020 TWTH schedule so watch our tour schedule page for any additional changes at https://www.vvmf.org/The-Wall-That-Heals/2020-Tour-Schedule/.

We already have begun emailing out DRAFT personal Tribute Certificates of honorees to the applicants. We will continue this process and draft tributes will continue to be emailed out in small groups, so please be patient as they are sent out as soon as they are done. The Tribute Certificate will require the applicant’s approval and we will use the approved information when we add their pages online in June. We ask that you respond as soon as possible with any corrections/changes that need to be made so that your honoree’s information is correct in all printed materials.

As always, any questions, reach out to us at inmemory@vvmf.org.

We appreciate your patience during this evolving situation, and we thank you for your understanding. We look forward to honoring nearly 600 Vietnam veterans at our In Memory ceremony in September.

The most current information on In Memory can always be found on our website at: www.vvmf.org/in-memory-program and we encourage you to join our In Memory Facebook group at https://www.facebook.com/groups/InMemoryFamilies/