30th Anniversary of The Wall Celebrated This Veterans Day
VA Secretary Eric Shinseki to Speak at Vietnam Veterans Memorial
Washington, D.C.—For nearly a century, November 11 has been a day to honor veterans. In 1919, President Woodrow Wilson proclaimed the day the first observance of what was then Armistice Day. He had this to say: “To us in America, the reflections of Armistice Day will be filled with solemn pride in the heroism of those who died in the country’s service and with gratitude for the victory, both because of the thing from which it has freed us and because of the opportunity it has given America to show her sympathy with peace and justice in the councils of nations.”
This November 11 at 1 p.m., we will again gather at The Wall to honor all veterans, but will pay special tribute to Vietnam veterans. Secretary of Veterans Affairs Eric Shinseki will offer remarks as we mark the 30th anniversary of The Wall and the 50th commemoration of the Vietnam War. Nov 28, 2012 will be the ceremonial groundbreaking for the Education Center at The Wall, a place on our National Mall where our military heroes’ stories and sacrifice will never be forgotten.
“Every Veterans Day celebration is important, but today is especially meaningful for Vietnam veterans as we gather on this hallowed ground to mark the 30th anniversary of this Memorial that has brought healing and honor to the more than 58,000 lost in Vietnam,” Jan C. Scruggs, VVMF founder and president, said. “Americans rallied to build The Wall 30 years ago and now we are working with that same spirit to tell the stories behind the names on The Wall through ceremonies like this and by building the Education Center.”
We are losing Vietnam veterans at an alarmingly fast rate. Each day we lose about 390 to illness and age. Their stories are in danger of being lost forever if we don’t take action now to ensure they become a part of our collective national memory. Millions visit the Vietnam Veterans Memorial each year. Tens of thousands gave their lives during the many years of conflict and their names are etched into the black granite. But they are more than names and we must do our part to remember them.
About VVMF and the Education Center at The Wall
The Education Center at The Wall is a place on our National Mall where our military heroes’ stories and sacrifice will never be forgotten. With a groundbreaking planned for November 2012, the Education Center at The Wall is a multi-million dollar, state-of-the-art visitor’s center and learning facility to be built on the grounds of the Vietnam Veterans and the Lincoln Memorials. Visitors will better understand the profound impact the Vietnam War had on their hometowns and the nation. The Education Center will feature the faces and stories of the 58,282 men and women on The Wall, honoring those who fell in Vietnam, those who fought and returned, as well as the friends and families of all who served.
Established in 1979, the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund is dedicated to preserving the legacy of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington, D.C., promoting healing and educating about the impact of the Vietnam War.
Support the Education Center at The Wall by visiting www.buildthecenter.org or by calling 866–990-WALL.