News Release: Congressman Rahall Receives Award

26 March 2009

Congressman Nick Rahall, (D-W.Va.), chairman of the House Natural Resources Committee, will be presented with a special Patriot Award by the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund during a breakfast on March 26.

Rahall will be honored for his continuing support of The Education Center at The Wall: America’s Legacy of Service, an educational and visitors facility being built underground near the Vietnam Veterans and Lincoln Memorials.

In his position on the Natural Resources Committee, Rahall is deeply involved with all Department of the Interior projects, including any additions to the National Mall in Washington, D.C.

“When the Education Center received congressional approval in 2003, Congressman Rahall was in our corner,” said Jan C. Scruggs, founder and president of the Memorial Fund. “He has continued to be a firm supporter of this vital project over the years, as we work to get the word out and win approval from the federal commissions. This Center will enhance the visitors’ experience, not just to the Vietnam Veterans Memorial, but to the entire National Mall. And it will be because of patriots like Congressman Rahall that this happens.”

The Patriot Award was created to recognize individuals who help the Memorial Fund achieve its mission of healing, education and remembrance. As a key supporter of the Education Center over the years, Congressman Rahall has played a vital role in the Memorial Fund’s mission to continue educating the American public about the Vietnam War and its era.

“I am honored to receive the Patriot Award from the Memorial Fund and to accept it from Tom Selleck, who has been a dedicated advocate for raising awareness on veteran's issues,” said Rahall. “I commend Mr. Selleck for his ardent support on these issues and thank Jan Scruggs, founder of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund, with whom I have worked closely over the years in support of the mission and legacy of The Wall.

“The visitor center that will one day soon be built will serve to help carry on the process of healing promoted by the Memorial,” Rahall added, “and educate future generations of visitors – some far removed from the war itself – on what The Wall stands for.”

First elected in 1976, Rahall is currently serving his 16th term in the U.S. House of Representatives and is the dean of the West Virginia delegation. He chairs the Committee on Natural Resources and serves as vice chairman of the Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure.

In his more than 30 years in the House, Rahall has made a name for himself as a champion of safe coal mining legislation. He is also a proponent of preserving West Virginia’s natural resources, and he has been instrumental in promoting diversification of southern West Virginia’s economic base.

The Education Center at The Wall: America’s Legacy of Service
The Education Center at The Wall is a visitors and education facility being built underground on the National Mall in Washington, D.C. Exhibits will include a wall of photographs of those whose names are on The Wall, a selection of the over 100,000 items that have been left at the Vietnam Veterans Memorial and a timeline of key military events in the Vietnam War. A section of the Center will illustrate the legacy of service demonstrated by the American people, showing images of those who served in all of America’s conflicts, from the Revolutionary War to Iraq. The Education Center will be built entirely with private funds, including the lead gift of $10 million from Time Warner.
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