News Release: Volunteers To Read All 58,256 Names Inscribed On The Wall

05 November 2007

The Reading of the Names, the four-day event during which the over 58,000 names inscribed on The Wall are read, will take place on Nov. 7-10 at the Vietnam Veterans Memorial as part of the commemoration of the 25th anniversary of The Wall, announced Jan C. Scruggs, founder and president of the Memorial Fund.

The Reading of the Names is a remembrance of every individual who served and sacrificed,” said Scruggs. “It’s 58,256 loved ones, relatives and friends who couldn’t be here with us today.”

The four days of readings will open with a Nov. 7 ceremony at the Memorial beginning at 3:00 p.m. Gordon Mansfield, Acting Secretary of Veterans Affairs, will be the keynote speaker.

Memorial Fund Founder and President Jan C. Scruggs will serve as the master of ceremonies. Other speakers will include:
Also participating in the ceremony will be Col. Paul S. Lockhart, USAF (Ret.) and Col. Carl E. Walz, USAF (Ret.), both representing NASA. A special musical tribute will be provided by former Statler Brother, singer and songwriter Jimmy Fortune, who will be accompanied by Jamie Dailey and Darrin Vincent. Well known in the bluegrass music industry, Dailey and Vincent have started their own band and will be touring next year.

The Reading of the Names will take place for 65 hours over a four-day period, during which nearly 2,000 volunteers will read the over 58,000 names inscribed on The Wall in the order they were taken from us. The first reader will be Hank Cramer, whose father, Harry Griffith Cramer, died in South Vietnam in 1957. When The Wall was first dedicated, the names listing began at 1959. Cramer’s name was added later. It is the second name that will be read on Nov. 7.

Other volunteer name readers include members of Congress, members of the Washington Capitals professional hockey team, Sons and Daughters in Touch, Gold Star Mothers and Gold Star Wives. (For a list of notable readers, please contact Lisa Gough at the Memorial Fund.)

Following is the schedule of reading times:

Wednesday, Nov. 7 - 4:00 p.m. to 12:00 a.m.
Thursday, Nov. 8 - 5:00 a.m. to 12:00 a.m.
Friday, Nov. 9 - 5:00 a.m. to 12:00 a.m.
Saturday, Nov. 10 - 5:00 a.m. to 12:00 a.m.

This is only the fourth time in The Wall’s 25-year history that all of the names have been read in Washington, D.C. The first time was at the National Cathedral in 1982 as part of the Memorial’s original dedication. For the 10th and 20th anniversaries, the names were read at The Wall.

The Reading of the Names is an essential part of the 25th anniversary of The Wall commemoration. The week of events concludes with the annual Veterans Day Ceremony at The Wall on Nov. 11. For more information on all of the anniversary events, visit:

The 25th Anniversary of The Wall events have been made possible by the support of the following corporations, groups and individuals: Lockheed Martin, API Energy, Boeing, Capital Hilton, Comfort Systems USA, Disabled American Veterans, FedEx, Gregory C. Jewell, Rick Lieb The McCormick Tribune Fund, Military Order of the Purple Heart, Mr. and Mrs. Robert S. Morrison, Non Commissioned Officers Association, Paralyzed Veterans of America and Veterans of Foreign Wars.

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, through a series of outreach programs, it is dedicated to preserving the legacy of The Wall, promoting healing, educating about the impact of the Vietnam War and is building the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Center, an underground educational facility, near The Wall.
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