It has been a year and a half since the effort began, and the Veterans History Project at Central Connecticut State University is closing in on the halfway point in their effort to collect a photograph of every member of the armed forces who was killed in Vietnam, to be displayed as part of a new national memorial to complement the Vietnam Memorial in the nation’s capital. The national Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund (VVMF), in partnership with the National Park Service, is working to build an Education Center near the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington D.C. Using the faces, stories, and remembrances attached to the names on the Vietnam Veterans Memorial, the Center will educate visitors about the Vietnam War and its impact on every community in the United States.
The Center will also provide information about the history and the significance of the Wall and preserve the legacy of the men and women who made the ultimate sacrifice. The Education Center will tell the stories of those who served and died in Vietnam through programming that will include interactive exhibits, primary source information, and educational programs.
One initiative under way is the national “Call for Photos” campaign, which endeavors to attach faces to the 58,272 names memorialized on the Wall. The Education Center will create a Wall of Faces exhibit to display all collected digital photographs once the Center is constructed. Meanwhile, the VVMF has created an on-line Virtual Wall at www.vvmf.org.
To ensure that 100% of Connecticut’s fallen are remembered , the Connecticut Department of Veterans’ Affairs and the Veterans History Project at Central Connecticut State University are working with volunteers and teachers to collect photos and remembrances of Connecticut’s 612 fallen who do not yet have photos on the VVMF’s Virtual Wall.
As of this month, 301 photos have been collected, and efforts continue. Photographs and related information can be submitted electronically, or by mail.
In 2010, Connecticut became the second state in the nation to pass legislation designating March 30 as Welcome Home Vietnam Veterans Day -- the date the last combat troops withdrew from Vietnam. Additional information on the Call for Photos and the Veterans History Project is available from Eileen Hurst at CCSU at (860) 832-2976.