Defense Media Network

Honor Veterans on Veterans Day and Help Make the Education Center at The Wall a Reality

Thousands are expected at the Vietnam Veterans Memorial on Thursday, Nov. 11, at 1 p.m. EST for the annual Veterans Day Observance at The Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington, D.C. We invite you join us on the National Mall or watch live here. We will also interview the speakers online at noon EST.

On Veterans Day, we honor all who served – those who made the ultimate sacrifice, and those who came home from war to build a life and contribute to the growth and prosperity of our country. The Vietnam Veterans Memorial was built to honor all who served in Vietnam. It is fitting that we pause here on this special day to honor those who have served in all of America’s wars.

The Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund (VVMF) and the National Park Service co-host the annual Veterans Day Observance at The Wall, and I have the honor to serve as master of ceremonies for the event.

The keynote speaker is Michael E. Heisley, chairman of Heico Holding Inc. and the Heico Companies.  Heisley was close friends with Rocky Versace, who was taken prisoner of war in Vietnam and later killed in captivity. Versace was awarded the Medal of Honor posthumously for his courage in captivity. Heisley has been devoted to remembering and honoring his friend.

Peter M. Holt, CEO of HOLT CAT, president/CEO of the San Antonio Spurs and a member of the leadership team for the campaign to build the Education Center at The Wall, will introduce Heisley. A Vietnam veteran, Holt served two years in the U.S. Army, including one tour in Vietnam.

The observance also allows the VVMF to highlight its campaign to build the Education Center at the Wall. Forty percent of the 4 million visitors to the Vietnam Veterans Memorial each year were not alive during the Vietnam War or when The Wall was built in 1982. For many, the names on The Wall have no context.

The Education Center will provide a glimpse of the lives behind the names on The Wall.  In the Center, their photos will be displayed larger-than-life on a media wall and will be shown on their birthdays. Another exhibit will show some of the nearly 150,000 items that have been left in tribute at The Wall.

Other exhibits will show key events during the war, and will highlight the values common to all service members. With the Education Center, America will never forget those who served and sacrificed in Vietnam.

You can help make the Education Center a reality.

Please join us as we pay tribute to those who serve and sacrifice every day for our country – and help us make sure their service is always remembered.

Jan Scruggs is the founder and president of the VVMF. He conceived the idea of building a memorial dedicated to all who served in the U.S. Armed Forces in Vietnam.

Find out more about the VVMF’s Education Center at The Wall
Please help VVMF make the Education Center a reality
Watch the Nov. 11 ceremony, beginning with a preview at noon EST