The Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund has coordinated with local organizations and volunteers nationwide in a call for photographs and back stories of the servicemen and women who gave their lives in the Vietnam War. The photos and stories will be displayed at The Education Center at The Wall in Washington, D.C. VVMF is also calling on the generous support of Americans to help raise the funds to build this facility.
In 2003, legislation passed that authorized the construction of the Educational Center at The Wall by the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund. Plans for the exhibitions at the center include the display of pictures and stories of those who made the ultimate sacrifice in Vietnam, some of the 400,000 items left at The Wall and a celebration of American service from Bunker Hill to Baghdad.
Out of the 58,286 men and women who did not return from the Vietnam War there are still over 26,000 Vietnam veterans listed on The Wall who need corresponding photographs and stories. 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. Tens of thousands gave their lives during the many years of conflict and their names are etched into the black granite. But as they are on the memorial, they are more than names and so we must do our part to remember them.
The call for photos is part of the Faces Never Forgotten campaign, encouraging friends and families of veterans, as well as every citizen, to ensure that the memories and stories of those inscribed on The Wall are never forgotten. VVMF hopes to give every service member the honor of being fully remembered as a person and not just a name.
"To complete the mission and begin construction of the Education Center, we will continue to depend on the dedication and generosity of those individuals, organizations and communities that make it their goal to honor those who made the ultimate sacrifice and contribute in their honor," says Jan C. Scruggs, President and Founder of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund. The cost of construction for the Education Center is $115 million, of which $26.9 million has been raised to date. Like the Vietnam Veterans Memorial, the Education Center at The Wall will be completely funded through private donations.