The thought first occurred to me 6 years ago when I was 66.
May 28, 2012
With Memorial Day fast approaching, it seems like an appropriate time to mention www.virtualwall.org. When you open the site, you are greeted with this message: The Vietnam Veterans Memorial Wall in Washington, DC honors those who died in the Vietnam War. Their relatives and friends leave letters, poems and photographs at the Veterans Memorial Wall and on this website. We bring the Vietnam Memorial Wall to your home to remember the sacrifices of the fallen and their families.
The options for the Memorial Pages are directly below the greeting. The easiest way to find information on friends or relatives who died in the war is to click on the first option, "By Last Name". Click on full profile and you'll be presented with a screen containing personal, military and casualty data. - date of birth, home of record, rank, MOS, unit, information about how the casualty occurred, small arms fire, etc. and the date. (for most Army casualties, the MOS is 11B - infantry) Some pages also include photos and or text remembrances. (Due to a software problem, the site is not taking any new text remembrances at this time.)
One of the other options is "Send Us a Photo". My daughter had recently taught me how to scan photos, so I emailed a few pictures of guys from my unit whose names are on The Wall. The photos had been taken 48 years ago with a Kodak Instamatic, a point-and- shoot camera. I shortly received an email response from a volunteer. In a few weeks, the photos were posted on the Virtual Wall. It wasn't a difficult process. If you're a Vietnam veteran or a friend or relative of one, maybe you'll consider sending in any photos you may have. The site indicates that the photos may be of the person named on The Wall at any age and may include family or friends. They discourage sending original photos by mail due to the risk of loss or damage.
If you are interested in learning about the history of the wall, click on "About the Wall". I would recommend visiting The Wall if you're planning a trip to Washington, DC. I visited The Wall about 30 years ago. It was a very moving experience, especially finding the names of the guys I served with.
They never got the chance to grow old like me
Their names are on The Wall in Washington, DC.