The VVA Veteran® Online

January/February 2013

Ground Breaking:
The Education Center At The Wall


The names in the granite of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial resonate with us all: those of us who served, those who lost loved ones, and those who lived through the divisive era. Behind every name is a face and a story. 

Thirty years have passed since the dedication of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial; 2012 also marked the 50th Anniversary Commemoration of the Vietnam War. As generations pass, more and more visitors come to The Wall with no connection to—and no knowledge of—the men and women it memorializes. The mission of The Wall is evolving from remembrance to education. Congress authorized The Education Center at The Wall to help future generations understand the tremendous sacrifices made by those who have answered the nation’s call to duty for more than two hundred years and the living legacy of service carried forward by today’s military.

The mission of The Education Center at The Wall is to convey the lessons the nation so painfully learned from the Vietnam War and the sacrifices of the men and women who serve this country. The Education Center also will pay tribute to the fallen from the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, and will be a place of healing and remembrance for those who served.

The Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund is committed to building The Education Center at The Wall and has raised $47 million of the $85 million necessary to begin construction. The goal is to open the Center’s doors in 2014, in time for the return of our troops from Afghanistan.

Highlights Of The Center

The Exterior: The 35,000-square-foot Education Center will bring stories to life. Using state-of-the-art digital technology, it will connect future generations to the lasting impact, the profound insights, and the individual heroes of the Vietnam War.

To Those Who Served: A history of America’s conflicts, from Bunker Hill to Baghdad. This will be a place of civic reflection.

The Collection: A selection of the more than 200,000 personal items left at The Wall.

The Timeline: A unique telling of one of the most divisive moments in U.S. history, this multimedia experience will cover the battlefront and the homefront.

Coming Home: This exhibit will show the homecoming experience and remind us that the treatment Vietnam veterans received should never happen again.

The Wall of Faces: Displays the images of the 58,282 men and women whose names are memorialized on The Wall, giving faces to the faceless. This exhibit will include a fitting tribute to those who died in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Jan Scruggs is one of the founders of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial and president of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund. He served with the 199th Light Infantry Brigade in Vietnam. Patrick J. Hughes, the national photographer for Rolling Thunder, served with the U.S. Marine Corps from July 1966-68; from January 1967-February 1968 he was with Marine Group 12 in Vietnam. View more of his photos at

Daniel Inouye,
A new flag for
Mid-Michigan Chapter 1047
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