BECAUSE OF YOU: A LOOK BACK AT 2021
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 2021 because of YOU:
- Hosted nearly 4 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 was on the road for more than 13,000 miles and visited 26 communities from coast to coast during its 2021 season. We were escorted by more than 3,000 vehicles into those communities, and we were able to spread The Wall’s healing legacy to nearly 200,000 visitors. Guided tours of the exhibit were provided to more than 12,000 students.
- Honored 361 Vietnam veterans through VVMF’s 2021 In Memory program for those who served in Vietnam, returned home and later died. Ceremonies were held in 2021 for both the 2020 and 2021 honorees with more than 2,000 family members and friends in attendance in October. More than 5,100 Vietnam veterans have now been honored through the In Memory program.
- Conducted a stone inspection and analysis to look for cracks in the panels of The Wall. This preservation effort is done every 10 years by a geologist to inspect the well-being of The Wall’s stone veneer.
- Launched an online registry for all Vietnam and Vietnam era veterans to connect with each other. Veterans can share and preserve their stories through the registry while connecting themselves with those on The Wall and in VVMF’s In Memory program.
- Launched the Echoes of the Vietnam War podcast. Even after 50 years, the impact of the Vietnam War echoes across generations. The podcast explores stories of service and sacrifice from people who are affected – veterans, their families, and others who add perspective to those experiences. Nearly 20 episodes were distributed in 2021 and have been downloaded more than 25,000 times.
- At the direction of the Department of Defense, VVMF added two names to The Wall in May. The addition of those two names brought the total number honored on The Wall to 58,281. Name additions were recognized at our annual Memorial Day ceremony.
- Recognized the repatriation of two service members on The Wall who were accounted for in 2020 and changed their statuses on The Wall accordingly.
- In advance of the 40th anniversary of The Wall, VVMF launched the daily virtual Reading of the Names online. For the first time ever – names are read each day of those we lost on that day while sharing their photos from the Wall of Faces. This daily initiative to honor those on The Wall will end on November 6, 2022 – the day before the in-person Reading of the Names begins in Washington, D.C. In less than 30 days, this initiative has reached nearly 200,000 viewers.
- Laid nearly 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.
- Held our second Agent Orange Awareness Day on August 10th – the anniversary of the first day that Agent Orange was thought to be sprayed in Vietnam. More than 1,700 orange candles were laid at the Memorial site, bringing awareness and encouraging others to do the same in the community. Videos shared from Agent Orange Awareness Day at The Wall have reached more than 14,000 views.
- Held our first-ever PTSD Awareness Day on June 27th. More than 1,800 teal candles were laid at the Memorial site, bringing awareness and encouraging others to do the same in their community. PTSD awareness efforts include a new PTSD topic page on the educational pages of VVMF.org. Videos shared from PTSD Awareness Day at The Wall have reached more than 20,000 viewers.
- Through the tireless efforts of volunteers across the country, there are now just 26 service members without at least one photo on our online Wall of Faces. All Coast Guard, Marine Corps and Navy photos have been found so three service branches have all photos.
- In honor of National POW/MIA Recognition Day in September, we shared the stories of POWS and those on The Wall who remain unaccounted for and their families. Their stories reached more than 300,000 people.
- 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.
- Paid for maintenance at The Wall including clearing the drain under the walkway at the apex, realigning the pavers on the walkway and raising the cobblestones to reduce a tripping hazard.
- Paid for maintenance around the site of the Three Servicemen Statue including garden loops and new plantings around the statue.
- Produced and shared our second virtual In Memory Reading of the Names of all those honored through In Memory from 1993 – 2020 expanding the reach to more than 6,000 viewers across the country.
- Shared education content with more than 1,200 individuals on our Teaching the Vietnam War and Era Facebook page.
- VVMF’s education efforts stayed virtual in 2021 with many students still learning online and it provided a unique opportunity for talking with students from around the country. Our education director presented to more than 800 elementary, middle, and high school students.
- VVMF’s education director shared presentations on the Vietnam War and The Wall with more than 500 adults at senior centers, libraries, and universities across the country.
- Provided nearly 2,000 free name rubbings for those that can’t make it to The Wall.
- Expanded our reach on VVMF social media channels – Facebook, Instagram and Twitter – sharing the stories of those who served and sacrificed in Vietnam with more than 2 million viewers.
- Commemorated national Vietnam War Veterans Day with a virtual ceremony on March 29th. The ceremony has been viewed more than 45,000 times.
- Hosted more than 1.1 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.
- Honored our “Yellow Hat” volunteers with an appreciation luncheon to thank them for many long hours spent at The Wall helping visitors.
- Grew the number of members in our Facebook community for In Memory families to more than 12,000 so they can connect and share their stories of love and loss.
- VVMF’s education director created a presentation titled, The Vietnam Veterans Memorial and Items Left Behind and gave the presentationat The 53rd Texas Tech Comparative Literature Symposium, Global Vietnam War Literature and Culture: Representation, Postmemory, and the Changing Geopolitics of the Transpacific
Thank you for making this all possible. We couldn’t do it without you!