At The Wall
The Vietnam Veterans Memorial stands as a symbol of America’s honor and recognition of the men and women who served and sacrificed their lives in the Vietnam War. Inscribed on the black granite walls are the names of more than 58,000 men and women who gave their lives or remain missing. The Memorial is dedicated to honor the courage, sacrifice and devotion to duty and country of all who answered the call to serve during one of the most divisive wars in U.S. history.
The Vietnam Veteran’s Memorial Fund, Inc. is the nonprofit organization authorized by Congress in 1980 to fund and build the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington, D.C. The organization sought a tangible symbol of recognition from the American people for those who served in the war. By separating the issue of individuals serving in the military during the Vietnam era and U.S. policy carried out there, VVMF began a process of national healing. The Memorial was dedication on Nov. 13, 1982 and attracts more than 5.6 million visitors each year.
HISTORY OF THE VIETNAM VETERANS MEMORIAL
- The Inspiration, Coalition and Congressional Support Behind the Vietnam Veterans Memorial
- VVMF’s Founder, Jan C. Scruggs
- The Dedication and National Salute to Vietnam Veterans in 1982
- Maya Lin’s Original Submission: The Winning Design
- The Controversy
- Construction of The Wall
- Maya Lin’s Bio
PRESERVATION AND CARE
ABOUT THE MEMORIAL SITE
- Arrangement of Names: How to Read The Wall
- Adding a Name to The Wall
- Plan a Visit
- Three Servicemen Statue, Vietnam Women’s Memorial and In Memory Plaque
- Memorial Volunteers
- Wall Magic
The Memorial was established by the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund, Inc. (VVMF), the nonprofit, charitable organization incorporated on April 27, 1979, by a group of Vietnam veterans led by Jan C. Scruggs, a wounded and decorated infantryman, from Bowie, Maryland.
VVMF wanted Vietnam veterans to have a tangible symbol of recognition from the American people. By separating the issue of the service of the individual men and women from the issue of U.S. policy in Vietnam, VVMF hoped to begin a process of national reconciliation.
Significant initial support came from U.S. Senators Charles McC. Mathias, Jr., (R-Md.) and John W. Warner (R-Va.). On Nov. 8, 1979, Sen. Mathias introduced legislation to authorize a site of national park land for the memorial. The first significant financial contributions to launch the national fundraising campaign were raised by Sen. Warner.
More than $8,000,000 was raised, all of which came from private sources. Corporations, foundations, unions, veterans groups and civic organizations contributed, but most importantly, more than 275,000 individual Americans donated the majority of the money needed to build the Memorial.
On July 1, 1980, Congress authorized a site of three acres in Constitution Gardens near the Lincoln Memorial. In October of that year, VVMF announced a national design competition open to any U.S. citizen over 18 years of age. By Dec. 29, 1980, there were 2,573 registrants, and the competition became the largest of its kind ever held in the United States.
By the March 31, 1981 deadline, 1,421 design entries had been submitted. All entries were judged anonymously by a jury of eight internationally recognized artists and designers who had been selected by VVMF. On May 1, 1981, the jury presented its unanimous selection for first prize, which was accepted and adopted enthusiastically by VVMF.
The winning design was the work of Maya Ying Lin of Athens, Ohio, a 21-year-old senior at Yale University. In August of 1981, VVMF selected a building company and architecture firm to develop the plans and build Lin’s design. Lin became a design consultant to the architect of record.
On March 11, 1982, the design and plans received final federal approval, and work at the site was begun on March 16, 1982. Ground was formally broken on Friday, March 26, 1982.
I have an Uncle who served in Vietnam and was hoping to have his name added but unfortunatly he died here in the states from the spray used to kill vegitation so they say he is not eldgible to be added is this true? His name is Charles David Hamilton he is army dont know much about his rank though.
VVMF follows Department of Defense regulations when adding names to The Wall. Unfortunately we are only allowed to add names of those who died in country who died from wounds received in battle. However we do have an In Memory program to honor those who served and sacrificed in Vietnam, but whose names are not on The Wall. You can apply to add your uncle to this program here: http://www.vvmf.org/InMemory_Apply
That is a sad state of affairs. The veterans that pass away as a result of their exposure to Agent Orange while serving their country are just as entitled as anyone to be included on that wall. They are living a long and painful death sentence. My brother is slowly dying from Multiple Myeloma, a direct result of Agent Orange. He served not one, but two tours in Vietnam.
Please tell me how I can get my late husband’s name on the wall. Carol D
I am trying to get my late husband’s name on the wall. He died in Feb 1998 of multiple cancerous tumors determined to be a direct result from Agent Orange while in Vietnam in themid 1960. I am disabled with Parkinson’s among other things. It would mean so much to me to see his or know that his name is on the wall. Please tell me how to do this.
We add names to The Wall according to Department of Defense regulations. In order to have a name considered for inclusion on the memorial, you must start by sending a written request to the appropriate Service casualty office. This letter should include the full name, date of birth, social security or serial number, and the date of service in the military. If the service member’s Service and the reviewing body of the Defense Department’s Washington Headquarters Service make a favorable determination in this matter, the Department of the Interior will have the name inscribed on the memorial.
Service casualty office information is listed below:
Department of the Army
Casualty and Mortuary Affairs Operations Center
1600 Spearhead Division Avenue
Fort Knox, KY 40121
Telephone: (800) 626-3317
Army Family Assistant Hotline (800) 833-6622
Army Casualty Homepage is reached at: https://www.hrc.army.mil/site/Active/tagd/CMAOC/cmaoc.htm.
Navy Casualty Assistance Division
5720 Integrity Drive
Millington, TN 38055-3202
Telephone: (800) 368-3202
Navy Casualty Assistance Division home page is: http://www.npc.navy.mil/CommandSupport/CasualtyAssistance.
Headquarters, Air Force Personnel Center
Air Force Casualty Services
550 C Street, West
Randolph AFB, TX 78150-4716
Telephone: (800) 433-0048 or (210) 565-5000
Air Force Casualty Service Branch information can be found at: http://www.afpc.randolph.af.mil/library/casualty.asp_
U.S. Marine Corps
HQ Marine Corps Casualty Section
3280 Russell Road
Quantico, VA 22134
Telephone: (703) 784-9512 or (800) 847-1597
Marine Corps Casualty Assistance Division has web information at: https://www.manpower.usmc.mil/portal/page/portal/M_RA_HOME/MR/PERSONNEL/Casualty
C’est le genre d’idee que je me fesait du sujet, merci beaucoup pour ce bon article.
In the late 60s our grade school principal came to my class at john glenn elementary school in okc,okla.and my friend kevin kidd was called out of class.next day teacher told us his father was KIA in vietnam.he never returned to school there again.my whole life ive always wondered where he went. All i know is his father’s last name is kid.he was in the army.myself and others would like him to know we have never forgotten his sacrifice.any help would be appreciated. Please help us bring closer. For us all. Thank you. Bobby collins
Wayne Caleb Hamlet. He passed on Dec. 15th, 2009. He enlisted in the Army, went to Viet Nam. Wayne was injured at Tan Son Nhut Airbase, treated and discharged 100% disabled. Wayne became a prescription abuser. Dec. 2009 I got a call, Wayne was in tough shape in Florida,. Wayne went from hospital ICU to Hospice. He passed in peace. It’s ironic that things become a little clearer on hind site. Wayne was a 30yr casualty of Viet Nam, that’s how long it took for his injury to claim his life. Wayne will be missed.
Laid to rest with Honor amongst his brothers from Viet Nam and other conflicts, 20′ from his father’s marker. National Cemetery at Bourne, MA
On November 11, 1982 I was honored to be a rifleman on the “Nitehawks” color guard that marched in the parade leading the way for our fellow Vietnam Vets as we marched down Constitution Ave. all four branches of the military was represented on our team and at least one Nitehawks was in Vietnam from 1964 to 1975 continuously.
Being invited by the VVMF was something we have never forgotten. Through the years three members of the Nitehawks have passed on including our captain, Gary Moore. The rest of the 17 man team honors his memory and that of the other team members and offer our thanks for the invitation to lead the parade and the homecoming so well deserved by all Vietnam Vets
Tan Son Nhut ’72
And a Nitehawk