By Paul Bedard, Washington Whispers
Something huge is happening Monday at the Vietnam War Memorial. Six new names of soldiers killed in action are being added and the designation of 11 others are being changed. It's not only a solemn event for the families of the soldiers, but a remarkable engraving and architectural feat that the public is being invited to watch.
Here's what the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund just sent us about the Monday ceremony:
SIX NAMES TO BE ADDED TO THE VIETNAM VETERANS MEMORIAL
Press Event to be held Tuesday, May 4, at 10 a.m. (Rain Date May 5)
Washington, D.C. — The names of six American servicemen will be inscribed on the black granite walls of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial next week, and the status designations will be changed for 11 others whose names are already on The Wall, announced Jan C. Scruggs, founder and president of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund (VVMF). A press event at 10 a.m. on May 4 will be held to allow the media and general public to witness the addition of one name.
Work will begin April 29 and proceed through May 4. The May 4 press event will showcase the addition of one name, that of Army Lt. Col. William L. Taylor, whose name will be added to Panel 7W, Line 81 of the Memorial.
In a short ceremony before the name addition, JC Cummings, AIA, the architect of record for the Vietnam Veterans Memorial, will offer some history of the Memorial and the addition of names. Expert stoneworker James Lee of Colorado-based Engrave Write, who will be adding the names, will give details about the process. VVMF President Jan Scruggs will offer remarks. Family members of all the service members whose names are being added to The Wall will be on hand, and a member of each family will speak about their family member whose name is being added and what the day means to them.
By May 4, the other names will have been added and all of the designations will have been changed. A variety of factors, including the weather and where the sun is hitting The Wall, determine when each of the changes or additions is made. When names are added, the highly technical procedure requires meticulous work to match the stroke and depth of the surrounding names to within one-thousandth of an inch.
The six names being added this year meet the Department of Defense (DOD) criteria for addition to The Wall: all of the men died as a result of wounds sustained in the combat zone during the Vietnam War.
Names Being Added to The Wall
Lance Cpl. John E. Granville, U.S. Marine Corps
Los Angeles, Calif..
Jan. 7, 1949 – April 26, 2007
Date of Casualty: June 12, 1968
Wall Location: Panel 56W, Line 34
The Department of Defense (DOD) ruled that medical evidence submitted by the Department of the Navy Bureau of Medicine and Surgery (BUMED) about Lance Cpl. Granville shows that he qualifies as having "died as a result of wounds (combat or hostile related) sustained in the combat zone" due to the amputations that he received as a result of his wounds.
Lance Cpl. Clayton K. Hough Jr., U.S. Marine Corps
Oct. 1, 1947 – Feb. 9, 2004
Date of Casualty: Feb. 22, 1969
Wall Location: Panel 8W, Line 3
Medical evidence submitted by the Department of the Navy Bureau of Medicine and Surgery (BUMED) indicates that Lance Cpl. Hough qualifies as having "died as a result of wounds (combat or hostile related) sustained in the combat zone" due to the amputations that he received as a result of his wounds.
Capt. Edward F. Miles, U.S. Army
Aug. 17, 1944 – Jan. 26, 2004
Date of Casualty: April 26, 1969
Wall Location: Panel 26W, Line 55
The U. S. Army Office of the Surgeon General (OTSG) has made the determination that Capt. Miles died as a result of wounds sustained on April 26, 1969 from a "booby trap" set by hostile forces.
Sgt. Michael J. Morehouse, U.S. Army
Feb. 15, 1949 – Aug. 14, 2004
Date of Casualty: April 1969
Wall Location: Panel 26W, Line 1
The U. S. Army Office of the Surgeon General (OTSG) has made the determination that Sgt. Morehouse died as a result of wounds sustained by hostile action in April of 1969 in Vietnam.
Lt. Col. William L. Taylor, U.S. Army
Dec. 19, 1941 – Jan. 23, 2009
Date of Casualty: Sept. 21, 1970
Wall Location: Panel 7W, Line 81
The U. S. Army Office of the Surgeon General (OTSG) has made the determination that Lt. Col. Taylor died as a result of wounds sustained by hostile action on Sept. 21, 1970 in Vietnam.
Cpl. Ronald M. Vivona, U.S. Marine Corps
Nov. 30, 1946 – Apr. 28, 2008
Date of Casualty: Apr. 6, 1968
Wall Location: Panel 50E, Line 36
Medical evidence submitted by the Department of the Navy Bureau of Medicine and Surgery (BUMED) indicates that Cpl. Vivona died as a result of wounds (combat or hostile related) sustained in the combat zone.
"We will add the names as close as possible to their dates of casualty, so these servicemen can remain in the company of those they served with," said Scruggs. Taylor will be added on the location corresponding to his exact date of casualty.
Beside each name on the Memorial is a symbol designating status. The diamond symbol denotes confirmed death. The cross represents missing in action. When a service member's remains are returned or accounted for, the diamond is superimposed over the cross. In addition to the six names being added this year, 11 designation changes will be made as well.
James Lee has performed the name additions for many years through his former company, Great Panes Glassworks. Now with Engrave Write, he will continue making the inscriptions for The Wall. Before adding Taylor's name, Lee will explain some of the technical aspects of the work.
JC Cummings, AIA, is the architect of record for the Vietnam Veterans Memorial. He worked for the Cooper Lecky architectural firm that helped build The Wall back in 1982.
In addition, representatives from each of the families of the service members whose names are being added will make remarks about their loved ones.
Next week's changes will bring the total number of names on the Vietnam Veterans Memorial to 58,267 men and women who were killed or remain missing in action.
The six new names will become "official" when they are read aloud during the annual Memorial Day Ceremony at The Wall on Monday, May 31, at 1:00 p.m.
The Department of Defense sets the criteria for and makes decisions about whose names are eligible for inscription on The Wall. The Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund pays for the name additions and status changes, and works with the National Park Service to ensure long-term preservation and maintenance of The Wall.
Dedicated on Nov. 13, 1982, the Vietnam Veterans Memorial was built to honor all who served with the U.S. armed forces during the Vietnam War. It has become known as an international symbol of healing and is the most-visited memorial on the National Mall.
Established in 1979, the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund is dedicated to preserving the legacy of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington, D.C., promoting healing and educating about the impact of the Vietnam War. Authorized by Congress, its most recent initiative is building The Education Center at The Wall, an underground facility near the Memorial that is designed to add faces to all the names on The Wall and tell their stories. Other Memorial Fund initiatives include educational programs for students and teachers, a traveling Wall replica that honors our nation's veterans and a humanitarian and mine-action program in Vietnam.
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