On this very special day marking an extraordinary milestone for the Vietnam Veterans Memorial, BVA National Headquarters extends its sincere thanks to the members of the organization who have sacrificed so much in defending our freedoms.
We thank you as well for your membership, your leadership, and all other service rendered to BVA over the years. Interestingly, the Vietnam Veterans Memorial’s 38th anniversary today represents just slightly more than half the age of the Blinded Veterans Association. Vietnam veterans now occupy a large and vital place in the annals of BVA’s history.
Dedication of Vietnam Veterans Memorial—November 13, 1982
Thirty-eight years ago, on November 13, 1982, the Vietnam Veterans Memorial was dedicated by the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund (VVMF). The Memorial, in Washington D.C., originally consisted of a wall of 70 inscribed panels containing 57,939 names. Today, there are 58,279 names inscribed with names of casualties, chronologically, from 1959 to 1975. Among the names are:
• Eight women who were nurses. Seven were from the Army; one from the Air Force.
• 160 Medal of Honor recipients
• 16 clergy. Seven Catholic; seven Protestant; two Jewish
• 120 individuals who listed foreign countries as their home of record. The countries include: Australia, Bahamas, Bolivia, Brazil, Canada, Columbia, Costa Rica, England, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Jamaica, Japan, Mexico, New Zealand, Pacific Island, Panama, Peru, Philippines, Puerto Rico, and Switzerland.
A 12-foot-by-8-foot flagstaff is also at the Wall, standing 60-foot tall. The flag flies 24 hours a day, seven days a week, in honor of the men and women who served in Vietnam. The flagstaff features an inscription and the seals of the five branches of the military service at its base and was donated by The American Legion.
The Three Servicemen sculpture, which was finished and added in 1984 along with the flagstaff, is a larger-than-life depiction of three infantrymen cast in bronze. The men—one white, one black, and one intended to represent all other ethnic groups in the country—are all in uniform, carrying weapons.
The Wall and surrounding grounds are beautifully sorrowful. Trinkets shining in the sun; tiny flags waving with the breeze. It is solemn, it is quiet, it is remorseful. Visitors from far and wide come to touch the Wall; to find a name of a long lost soldier. To show their grandkids, nieces, nephews the truth of war and how it has permeated their lives so much. Thank you, Vietnam Veterans; those that were able to come home, and those that gave their lives for the freedom of others.
Reference: Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund