The Vietnam Veterans Memorial Wall is a special place. Every year thousands of visitors come to pay their respects to the fallen Americans during the Vietnam War. For many this is an extremely emotional experience when they come and remember their sons and daughters, husbands, fathers, cousins, uncles, friends, associates and many others. Over the years it has become a common occurrence for visitors to leave an object in the memory of a loved one.
Since the wall was dedicated in 1982 more than 400,000 objects have been left at the Wall by visitors. Among the items left behind since the memorial was dedicated are military ribbons and medals, a general’s stars, eyeglasses, a custom-built Harley-Davidson motorcycle, money and flags. For years it was the policy of the National Mall and Memorial Parks Department to store items left at the wall. Storage of these items are becoming a challenge so the Department is proposing new rules to hopefully manage the situation efficiently and without offending item depositors.
Gay Vietzke, superintendent of the National Mall and Memorial Parks said “by refining the scope of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Collection, we can ensure that our energy and resources will preserve items with a direct and specific relationship to veterans of the Vietnam War.” The proposed changes call for the National Park Service to keep only personal artifacts of personnel whose names appear on the memorial, Vietnam War military service items, and protest and advocacy materials related to the war.
If you would like to comment on the proposed changes you are encouraged to review the full copy of the draft Vietnam Veterans Memorial Scope of Collection Statement
CLICK HERE for a full copy of the statement and online comment form.
Comments may be submitted in writing to:
Gay Vietzke, Superintendent
National Mall and Memorial Parks
Attn: Vietnam Veterans Memorial SOCS
900 Ohio Drive SW
Washington, DC 20024
Comments must be entered into the website or postmarked by March 10, 2016 to receive consideration.