Washington, D.C. – On June 14, 2013, Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund (VVMF) hosted more than 800 attendees at the annual ceremony on the East Knoll of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial.
This year 121 individuals were honored during the ceremony. Carl Edmond White, a Vietnam veteran from Pecks Mill, was posthumously honored.
There are 58,286 names on the Vietnam Veterans Memorial; names of men and women who died on the battlefield of the Vietnam War. Those men and women are honored on a daily basis by everyone who sees The Wall.
Since the war ended, many thousands more have died as a result of the Vietnam War, but their deaths do not fit the Department of Defense criteria for inclusion upon The Wall. On In Memory Day, the VVMF honors this special group of Vietnam veterans: those who have faced daily difficulties and whose lives have been cut short by their service.
The In Memory Day ceremony falls on Flag Day each June. VVMF believes this is particularly appropriate as the suffering of these veterans endured far longer than the time spent in combat, making them examples of patriotism and sacrifice for all Americans.
The ceremony also falls within PTSD Awareness Month for the Department of Veterans Affairs. Tragically, 50,000 to 100,000 Vietnam veterans have committed suicide, according to a study conducted by the Centers for Disease Control.
This year’s master of ceremonies was Capt. Denis Faherty, USN (ret.) and speakers included The Honorable Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, President of Associates of Vietnam Veterans of America Nancy Switzer, Former Executive Director of the Friends of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Ira Hamburg, and wife of In Memory honoree Raymond William Reiche, Maureen Foster.
The In Memory Honor Roll is available here: http://www.vvmf.org/inmemory
The In Memory Day ceremony is a solemn ceremony attended by friends and family and includes the presentation of Colors and the singing of the National Anthem. During the ceremony, the names of all the honorees are read aloud and certificates bearing the honorees’ names are placed at The Wall. These certificates are later collected by the National Park Service and stored in a permanent archive.