Because of you: A look back at 2019

January - Michael Brennan

Photo credit: Michael Brennan

Because of you, VVMF can carry out its mission to honor and preserve the legacy of service in America and educate all generations about the impact of the Vietnam War and era.

A few highlights of what we accomplished in 2019 because of YOU:

  • Hosted nearly 5 million visitors at The Wall in Washington, D.C. including many veteran and student groups met by VVMF staff for tours and help with name rubbings.
  • The Wall That Heals exhibit visited 34 communities in 22 states during its 2019 season to spread The Wall’s healing legacy to nearly 300,000 visitors. Guided tours of the exhibit were provided to more than 15,000 students. A new replica In Memory plaque was unveiled in 2019 as part of the traveling exhibit.
  • Recognized the repatriation of nine service members on The Wall who were accounted for in 2018 and changed their statuses on The Wall accordingly.
  • Commemorated the 35th Anniversary of the Three Servicemen Statue and 15th Anniversary of the In Memory
  • Dedicated a new and improved In Memory plaque that is raised and more prominent on the site of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington, D.C.
  • Honored 534 Vietnam veterans through VVMF’s In Memory program for veterans who died from Vietnam-related causes after returning home. Nearly 3,000 family members and friends attended the annual ceremony in June.
  • Paid for a $30,000 renovation around the site of the Three Servicemen Statue. The renovation included: removing and replacing the planting bed around the Three Servicemen Statue with the addition of new bushes and signs, laying down rodent-resistant wire mesh, creating a concrete ledge, and installing new poles and chains.
  • Presented granite from The Wall to the Australian National Vietnam Veterans Museum in Victoria and the government of Australia to thank them for their service during the Vietnam War.
  • Completed a 4-year audit of the names inscribed on The Wall in order to have the most accurate database of names and number of service members on The Wall.
  • Provided translated fact sheets about The Wall to visitors in nine different languages, including: Vietnamese, Chinese, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Portuguese and Spanish.
  • Launched a new VVMF.org website in May 2019 with an expanded education section including a timeline of the Vietnam era and topic pages on subjects such as POW/MIA, Women on The Wall, and Chaplains on The Wall.
  • Retained an Object Conservator to clean and care for the Three Servicemen Statue and In Memory plaque five times throughout the year.
  • Retained a lawn care company to fertilize and enhance the grass on the three-acre site of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial.
  • Commemorated national Vietnam War Veterans Day at The Wall on March 29th with a special reunion of members of the Fox Force reconnaissance platoon holding their 50th reunion at The Wall.
  • Hosted nearly 1.2 million visitors on our website, VVMF.org, to learn about the Vietnam War, those on The Wall and those who have died since returning home.
  • Hosted Memorial Day and Veterans Day ceremonies at The Wall to honor all those who have served and sacrificed.
  • Laid 3,000 roses at The Wall on Father’s Day to honor the fathers on The Wall, those that never had the chance to become fathers, and those fathers who returned home and later died as a result of their service.
  • Honored our “Yellow Hat” volunteers with an appreciation luncheon to thank them for many long hours spent at The Wall helping visitors.
  • Doubled the number of members in our Facebook group for In Memory families so they can connect and share their stories of love and loss. By year’s end, more than 6,000 friends and family of Vietnam veterans had joined the community.
  • Through an amazing group of volunteers, collected another 1,300 photos for VVMF’s online Wall of Faces leaving just 327 service members without a photo. Ten additional states were completed in 2019 to bring the total to 44 states, two U.S. territories and the District of Columbia completed.
  • Hosted a candlelight remembrance at The Wall on September 20th in honor of POW/MIA Recognition Day.
  • Updated our mobile tour app to give those who can’t make it to Washington a chance to virtually visit and learn about the Vietnam Veterans Memorial and those inscribed on it.
  • Provided more than 3,000 free name rubbings for those that can’t make it to The Wall.
  • Partnered with schools and teachers in Prince William County, Virginia to teach more than 1,800 students about service members on The Wall and the history of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial through our Traveling Trunk program.
  • Presented six professional development sessions on the Vietnam era to educators with Prince William County, National History Day, First Division Museum, and the New Jersey Vietnam Veterans Memorial Foundation.
  • Met more than 1,100 students at The Wall in DC for tours and educational discussions.
  • Customized our educational curriculum to meet New York state standards, which now is a recommended resource for teachers incorporating information about Vietnam in their classrooms.
  • Completed digital programs for more than 800 students, including 175 adult learners. These programs run all over the country from high schools in New Jersey, middle schools in New York, adult learning programs in New Mexico to senior centers in Ohio.
  • Grew VVMF’s international teacher network to more than 700 teachers.
  • Partnered with Missouri’s National Veterans Memorial on the dedication of a full-size replica of The Wall in Perryville, Mo.
  • Added a part-time tour guide position at The Wall in Washington, D.C to give an overview and history of the memorial to visitors.

Thank you for making this all possible. We couldn’t do it without you!