In Memory program honors Vietnam Veterans for their sacrifice


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More than 40 years after the war’s end, Vietnam Veterans and their families are still feeling the effects of their service. There are 58,307 names that meet the Department of Defense’s criteria to be listed on The Wall. However, there are many more who returned home, but whose lives were cut short by their service in Vietnam. The Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund (VVMF) believes that all those who served should be honored and recognized.

In 2004, a plaque was dedicated as part of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial site. The plaque reads: In Memory of the men and women who served in the Vietnam War and later died as a result of their service. We honor and remember their sacrifice.

Since 1999, VVMF’s In Memory program has acknowledged the hardships these Veterans and their families went through after the war ended and honors their sacrifices through a special ceremony. The In Memory program is a way that all Vietnam Veterans can have a connection to The Wall and be honored in the place our country has set aside to honor them.

“The In Memory ceremony is really a healing ceremony for Veteran’s families. Our Veterans gave so much to their country and deserve to be honored. To share memories and acknowledge each other’s suffering gives families validation that their loved ones are not forgotten. Thank you for giving us the opportunity to honor our loved ones in this public ceremony.”

The program is free and the application process is simple. To honor a loved one, you only need to submit the Veteran’s DD214 to show their proof of service in the Vietnam war, a copy of their death certificate and a photograph. The application deadline for inclusion in this year’s ceremony is in March and applications can be submitted here.

Causes of death that fit the criteria for inclusion in the program include exposure to Agent Orange, PTSD-related illnesses/events, cancer, diabetes, heart attack, etc.

In Memory honorees are remembered each June at a special ceremony on the National Mall. Family members and friends of current honorees – as well as all past honorees – are invited to participate and read their loved one’s name in a touching ceremony on the East Knoll of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial. The In Memory Day ceremony has become a place where families who faced similar hardships gather and help each other begin or continue their healing processes.

 “My brother was finally recognized for having served and given his life to his country. When I heard his name read aloud with those other beautiful souls, it took my breath away.”

On the VVMF website, the In Memory Honor Roll recognizes more than 2,500 past inductees. Loved ones and friends can leave remembrances on honorees’ pages.

The most current information on In Memory can always be found here. For questions, contact VVMF at inmemory@vvmf.org.


Jim KnotsJim Knotts is president and CEO of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund.  He is an Air Force Veteran of the Persian Gulf War and a graduate of the Air Force Academy.

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Comments

  1. Diane Parisi    

    In honor of my Husband, who I just enrolled,I plan to attend this Ceremony in 2016. Accompanying me will be my 3 Children. I need to know the date of the Ceremony 2016 so we can make accommodations in advance of 4 busy schedules. Thank you, a very grateful wife, DDP

  2. Lucus Jhonson    

    One of my dearest brothers sacrifice his life in Vietnam the Vietnam War. He is no more with us for 3 years, but all of us missing him so deeply.

  3. Janet Norman    

    My husband served in the Vietnam War 1970-1971! He dealt with PTSD for many years, died from many war related issues. Diabetes, Heart Disease, blindness, End Stage Kidney Failure and a Amputee! My husband passed away almost 1 year ago, we miss him dearly! His name: Larry J Norman Sr.

  4. Sergeant Major Kenneth E Cunningham    

    I served in Vietnam Nam, afghanistan and Iraq I retired in 2011. I am trying to find a dear friend Kenneth E Morris. It’s been 15 years or so since we last talked. I have not been involved in anything involving vet’s. I thought of it numberous time. I have many medical issues I am dealing with. VA is making it extremely hard to move forward.

    I hope we can find Ken Morris a dear friend to me. He may have passed, he is a heavy smoker.

    Ken Cunningham

  5. stuart johnson    

    I appreciate you’re efforts in recognizing and honoring all Vietnam vets.

    1. Howard vollmer    

      People don’t realize how we felt to come home and be treated that way. I joined the Navy and proud to serve, but couldn’t understand why we were treated the way we were when we finally came home! IT STILL HURTS TODAY AFTER ALL THOSE YEARS. Howard

      1. DannyG    

        Howard, I know it still hurts. If you want to know my true feelings, read the comments in the story abt the huey that was rebuilt. I would like to offer you, personally, an apology. Please, my brother, forgive, even if you can’t forget, & try to let it go. God bless you for following the government’s orders, & protecting the greatest country in the world!

    2. trudy anderson    

      I lost my precious husband due Agent Orange that ruined his heart 2 years ago. I didn’t know him when he was in viet nam I didn’t meet him until 1978
      When he told me the he had been spit on called the killer had a hard time getting a job after he spent two years in the ground for this country he was still product/service and at least when he passed away he got military honors and has a stone at Kentucky veterans West cemetery in Hopkinsville Kentucky he passed away when we were living at Clarksville Tennessee and our grandson was living with us as he was in and is in the Army and now stationed in Hawaii but he spent a year in Afghanistan. I did not bury my husband as I knew I wouldn’t be living there but they had the nicest service and I have this flag and I was so proud of him he was so proud of his country and his service. I think all of you men and women that are still with us that served in that war that we could not win. I was really too young to understand what Vietnam was about. The man that is served in Nam did not want to talk about it when they got home. My husband told me I was the first person he had ever told what happened over there. In fact we lived in Sioux Falls South Dakota for 20 years when we move there , he had on his Vietnam War hat and some men walked up and said welcome home and I didn’t understand that’s when Wayne told me that they were not welcome home when my grandson came home from Afghanistan it was a big deal thank God. Thank all of you for your service if you’ve lost a loved one like I have you have my condolences May this country never go to war like that again

  6. DannyG    

    WHY has it taken so long for these men & women to be properly & fully recognized? When they came home, they were spat on, denied jobs, called vicious names, & denied proper medical care. It was my primarily people in my age group that abused you, & I want to ask a favor of every individual that went to Vietnam:
    PLEASE ACCEPT MY HEARTFELT APOLOGY ON BEHALF OF THOSE THAT ABUSED YOU WHEN YOU CAME HOME.
    I am still a long-haired hippie, still a man that respects you, & bcuz of my 9 1/2 yrs of svc to this great country, still proud to stand beside you & call you my brothers and sisters!

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