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National Reading of the Names

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As of yesterday, 6,785 American service men and women have been killed in the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Yesterday, Jan Scruggs, President and Founder of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund, announced that on Memorial Day the VVMF will honor those veterans by reading aloud the names of the service men and women who died in Iraq and Afghanistan.

More than 50,000 American service men and women have been wounded in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Vietnam Veterans know the importance of honoring those who have made the ultimate sacrifice in service to our country.

Scruggs says, “These 6,785 heroes of a new generation deserve our admiration, our respect, and our gratitude.”

This’s why this Memorial Day weekend Vietnam Veterans from around the country will gather on the National Mall to do something different — something that has never been done before.

On May 24th, during a ceremony on the National Mall, Vietnam Veterans, family and friends will read the names of the 6,785 American service men and women who have died in Iraq and Afghanistan.

The Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund wants Vietnam Veterans as well as Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans to be a part of the reading.

The tradition of reading the names of the fallen started at The Wall.

The Vietnam War officially ended in April 1975, but it took seven long years for the country to build The Wall, so Vietnam Veterans, and the families of those who were lost in Vietnam, would finally have a place to heal.

In the years since The Wall opened in 1982, the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund has held five readings of the names of those who were killed or who are missing in Vietnam.

After the 14 names of those who died from their wounds are added in May, there will be 58,300 names listed on the Vietnam Veterans Memorial.

It is a very emotional experience to hear the names of the fallen being read aloud.

Vietnam Veterans know from personal experience that the healing from Vietnam didn’t really begin until the dedication of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in 1982.

According to Scruggs:

“This is why those who served in the post-9/11 wars will be honored at the Education Center at The Wall with a temporary display of the photos of the fallen. One day they will be memorialized, but until then, they will be remembered and welcomed home by the veterans of Vietnam.”

With the Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans returning home, Scruggs says that, “This reading is the perfect time to begin building a bridge to heal wounds, and honor these new warriors.”

To get information on participating in the reading of the names, go to: http://www.buildthecenter.vvmf.org/signup-to-read

To make a donation in honor of our post 9/11 heroes, go to: http://www.buildthecenter.vvmf.org/post-911-heroes

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