Volunteers sought for reading of the names at the Vietnam Veterans Memorial


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When the Vietnam Veterans Memorial was dedicated in Washington, D.C. in 1982, a promise was made to never forget those who served and sacrificed their lives in the Vietnam War. Etched in its black granite walls are the names of 58,318 service members who were killed or remain missing. The Wall honors their courage, sacrifice and devotion to duty and country. Since its inception, The Wall has become a sacred place for loved ones and visitors to pay their respects. By separating the war from the warrior, The Wall began a process of national healing.

This year marks the 35th Anniversary of The Wall. In commemoration of the Anniversary, the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund (VVMF) is honored to host the 2017 Reading of the Names of the more than 58,000 service members inscribed on The Wall in Washington, D.C. The Reading of the Names will take place at The Wall for 65 hours over a four-day period beginning with an opening ceremony on Tuesday, Nov. 7 at 3:00 p.m. Volunteers will read names for approximately eight hours from 4 p.m. on November 7 to 12 a.m. on Nov. 8. Participants will then read the names for 19 hours daily from 5 a.m. until 12 a.m. on November 8, 9, and 10. Volunteer readers can sign up for a specific name on The Wall or for a timeslot in which they are available to read.

VVMF is asking the public to join them in this monumental event, as a reader or as a spectator, in honor of their sacrifice. Registration is now open for reading times at http://www.vvmf.org/ROTN.

One of the best ways to honor our fallen is to say their names and share their story. Behind every name on The Wall is a person, a life cut short, and a family changed forever. By saying their names, we are saying we will never forget them.

Remember Pfc. Dan Bullock, the 15-year-old Marine who forged his birth certificate to join the U.S. military and became the youngest American service member to die in the war. Remember Navy chaplain Lt. Vincent Capodanno, who was administering comfort and last rites to Marines when he went to aid a wounded corpsman and was killed by enemy fire. Say the name of Army nurse 1st Lt. Sharon Lane, one of eight women to die in Vietnam, and the only one to die from hostile fire. These brave men and women left behind friends, brothers, sisters and parents. They had the same hopes and dreams as the rest of us. It is only fitting that we come together at the place our nation has set aside to remember them.

The Reading of the Names has taken place in Washington, D.C. just five other times in The Wall’s history. In November 1982, the names were read aloud at Washington National Cathedral as part of a week-long national salute to Vietnam Veterans. The names were read at The Wall during the 10th anniversary in November 1992, during the 20th anniversary in 2002, 25th anniversary in 2007 and during the 30th anniversary in 2012.

It has been 35 years since The Wall was dedicated, but it remains just as important that we never forget. Never forget their names. Never forget their faces. Never forget what they gave for their country. It’s important that we educate current and future generations about the Vietnam War and its impact, legacies, and lessons learned. Join VVMF in keeping the promise that The Wall was built on — the promise to never forget.

To register to be a part of the Reading of the Names in 2017, click here.


IMAGE:Latosha AdamsLatosha Adams is the manager of online communications at the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund.

Author

VAntagePoint Contributor

-- VAntage Point Contributors provide insight and perspective on a wide range of Veterans issues. If you'd like to contribute a story to VAntage Point, learn how you can submit a guest blog at http://www.blogs.va.gov/VAntage/how-to-submit-a-guest-post/

Comments

  1. Charlie Cong    

    Latosha? What the hell does “Latosha” know about Vietnam. And where are you Scruggs? Inquiring minds want to know.

    1. JPL    

      Wow Charlie. Be nice.

    2. Bob Powell    

      Charlie, I know what YOUR name means: nasty, racist troll. It’s disgusting to see your comment on such a serious, somber tribute to the fallen. Man up and apologize or delete your comment. (Vietnam Vet, 1968-1969, Air Force medic)

  2. Ed Preston    

    We just hosted The Vietnam Traveling Wall Memorial at The Wall in Bucks County, Penndel Pa. We read the names over about 36 hours, I hope to be able honor those on the Wall during the 35th Anniversary.

  3. Karen Hickman    

    I lost my brother in Vietnam 8/26/1970 and have never been to THE Wall to touch his name or let him know I have never forgotten him, I would love to read his name. What does it cost to attend, we are from Indiana and I am on disability. But hopefully, I could work something out.

    1. Gary Hicks    

      Ms. Hickman,

      The event is free. You can find more information at http://www.vvmf.org/ROTN. Also at this link, you and others can register to read names for the ceremony.

      If you can attend, please let us know. We may be able to have someone there to cover a portion of the event for VAntage Point. If we do, I would like for them to interview if you would be interested in that.

  4. Shirley Garcia    

    They left behind children like me in addition to their friends, brothers, sisters and parents. This is a great thing to do. They should NEVER BE FORGOTTEN. I was just there this past weekend honoring my dad and the other 133 men that died with him 50 years ago on 7/29/1967. FID.

  5. Bill Rafferty    

    Hoping we can get the USAF Military Airlift Command to aid in flights to Andrews AFB this will surely help bring both retirees and active duty members to Washington to aid in this worthwhile event.

  6. John Ciak    

    How long does a reader have to read for if you volunteer?

  7. Leigh Ann Ellis    

    How long does each person read? Is there an age limit for the readers?

  8. Mary K. Gallagher    

    It would be an Honor to read their names❤️

  9. Sandra Jamerson Hlebasko    

    My uncle went MIA on April 21, 1968. My sister, nieces and cousin will be there to read his name..We can’t wait and are so honored to be able to participate.

  10. Lisa Crowley    

    My Uncle fought in the Vietnam war and died in his 30s from Hodgkins. In not sure if his name is on the wall but I would love to tribute to him for my mother, his only sister.. David Wetzel . sincerely Lisa Crowley. When, where, how, etc.

  11. Lisa Crowley    

    Would love to participate in honor of David Wetzel, my uncle and moms only brother. .who died too early and served in the Vietnam War

  12. Leigh Ann Ellis    

    Can someone answer the question about how long each person read and if there is an age limit?

  13. Senior Golfer    

    I appreciate the “Wall” and all it stands for…

    Semper Fi

  14. Jerry Bench    

    Be honored as a disabled vet to read and be a part of such a historical event

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