News Release

Vietnam Veterans Memorial Wall

Veterans Day at The Wall

07 November 2008

The 15th anniversary of the Vietnam Women’s Memorial will be the focal point of the annual Veteran’s Day Ceremony at The Wall. Thousands are expected at the ceremony, which is being co-hosted by the Memorial Fund and the National Park Service and will begin at 1 p.m. at the Vietnam Veterans Memorial.

"Veterans Day is traditionally a time when Americans pause to remember and thank all those who have sacrificed in the service of our country,” said Jan C. Scruggs, founder and president of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund. “While The Wall was built to remember everyone who served in the Vietnam War—men and women—the Vietnam Women’s Memorial reminds us of the vital roles women played in that conflict.”

The ceremony will feature several women speakers who are prominent in America’s armed forces and in the Vietnam Women’s Memorial leadership. The keynote speaker will be Diane Carlson Evans, founder and president of the Vietnam Women’s Memorial Foundation. Evans served as an Army nurse during the Vietnam War and founded the Vietnam Women’s Memorial Project in 1984 to honor the service of American military women who served during the Vietnam War era. The Vietnam Women's Memorial was dedicated on November 11, 1993.

“The memorial is a tribute to the bravery of the many women who risked their lives during Vietnam,” Evans said. “It’s also a place of healing and a chance to share their stories. By honoring women in military service during the Vietnam era, the Vietnam Women’s Memorial paved the way for recognizing the many women who serve in our armed forces today.”

The names of eight service women who died during the Vietnam War are inscribed on the Vietnam Veterans Memorial.

Other speakers at the Veteran’s Day ceremony will include: Brig. Gen. Evelyn “Pat” Foote, USA (Ret.), active spokesperson for the Army and other organizations concerning the role of women in the military services; Command Sgt. Maj. Cynthia A. Pritchett, USA, assigned to USCENTCOM as the Command Sergeant Major for the Headquarters Service and Support Element; and Edie McCoy Meeks, Vietnam Women’s Memorial Foundation board member.

Peggy O’Dell, regional director for the National Capital Region of the National Park Service, will also offer remarks. Jan Scruggs will serve as the master of ceremonies. Music will be provided by the acappella group Straight No Chaser.

Glenna Goodacre, designer and sculptor of the Vietnam Women’s Memorial, will attend the ceremony. Goodacre’s art appears in public, private, municipal and museum collections throughout the country. She is also known for her design of the Sacagawea dollar, which entered circulation in the United States in 2000.

The Veteran’s Day Ceremony at The Wall is the culmination of three days of events commemorating the 15th anniversary of the Vietnam Women’s Memorial. Other events include film screenings, a candlelight ceremony, a Native American dance, the reading of the names and storytelling.

The Veterans Day Ceremony at The Wall is sponsored in part by Chrysler, Xerox, TV Worldwide and Base Technologies. Activities surrounding the 15th anniversary of the Vietnam Women’s Memorial are sponsored in part by Disabled American Veterans, Veterans of Foreign Wars, the American Legion, Lockheed Martin and Verizon Corporation.

About the Vietnam Women’s Memorial Foundation
The Vietnam Women’s Memorial Foundation is a non-profit organization dedicated to honoring women who served during the Vietnam era. For additional information on the Memorial or its projects, including educational programs or Sister Search, contact Marsha Guenzler-Stevens, chair of the Education Committee, at (301) 314-8505 or contact the Foundation’s founder and president, Diane Carlson Evans, at The Vietnam Women’s Memorial Foundation’s educational programs help ensure the stories of the women who served during this important chapter of America’s history continue to be told.

About the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund
Established in 1979, the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund is the nonprofit organization authorized by Congress to build the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington, D.C. Today, the Memorial Fund is an international nongovernmental organization dedicated to preserving the legacy of The Wall, promoting healing and educating about the impact of the Vietnam War. Its initiatives include educational programs for students and educators, a traveling Wall replica that honors our nation’s veterans and a humanitarian and mine-action program in Vietnam. The Memorial Fund is also building the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Center, an underground educational facility, near The Wall.
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