The Vietnam Veterans Memorial Foundation project “Faces Never Forgotten” needs help obtaining missing photos of Vietnam veterans from Minnesota. These photos will help complete an electronic “Wall of Faces” in the new education center at the Vietnam Memorial Wall. View the gallery in progress at http://www.vvmf.org/Wall-of-Faces/. Please read the letter below from NNA Representative Andrew Johnson for more information about this effort.
These are effective and moving tributes to fallen soldiers. Newspapers and newspaper associations across the country are being asked to help locate missing photos. If there is a missing photo of a soldier from your area, perhaps they attended one of your schools and you have a photo in your newspaper archive? You could publish ads or editorial content in your communities, seeking help from readers in reaching anyone who may have a photo of the soldier. If there are many soldiers in your area, perhaps the effort could be part of an advertising page or special section. (Examples of stories published are here and here.)
MNA will collect the photos from member newspapers and provide photos to the VVMF as they are received.
There are currently more than 220 Minnesotans with missing photos.
To determine if there are soldiers from your community whose photos are missing:
1. Go to: http://www.vvmf.org/Wall-of-Faces/
2. Click Advanced Search, to the right of the search box
3. Input a city, county, or state name based on the desired search
4. Scroll to the last box and check: Does Not Have a Default Photo
5. Hit Submit
If you are able to locate any missing photos, please send them to LuAnn Yattaw (firstname.lastname@example.org). Photos in jpeg format are preferred.
The MNA and Vietnam Veterans Memorial Foundation thank you for your effort in support of this mission.
From NNA Representative Andrew Johnson:
My son, U.S. Army Lt. David Johnson, was killed in action on January 25, 2012 in Afghanistan. This event has drastically changed my family.
I have been a small weekly newspaper publisher in Wisconsin for the past 25 years. Four years ago I had the privilege of serving as president of the Wisconsin Newspaper Association. Last year, I started serving a three year term as the National Newspaper Association (NNA) Region 6 Director, representing the interests on community newspapers on a national level.
A few months ago, the VVMF (Vietnam Vet Memorial Fund) issued a news release about their efforts to locate the photo of all 58,286 soldiers listed on the Vietnam Memorial wall in Washington D.C. They are building a new Education Center at the Wall right near the existing memorial wall on the National Mall. Construction for the facility is planned to start in 2016 and be completed for a grand opening in 2019.
The new building will include an electronic “Wall of Faces” corresponding to the names on the wall. So far, the VVMF has collected 34,000 of the photos and still needs to find approximately 24,000 photos of soldiers listed on the wall. Soldiers since 911 will also be honored in the new center. More information about this project can be found at www.vvmf.org
As a newspaper publisher and gold star father I knew that newspapers across the country to help find the majority of the missing photos. While on NNA business in Washington, I along with other NNA representatives met with representatives from the VVMF to see how newspapers could help. It was determined that the best way to get the missing photos was to have each state press association work with their member newspapers. State press associations would then get the photos to VVMF in Washington.
Vietnam veterans from home to across the country have been so kind and good to my family during our incredible grieving journey. They have shown great honor to my son as well as all of those killed in action.
I am asking every newspaper association and newspaper in the United States to join in the effort in finding the missing photos of our hero’s listed on the Vietnam Memorial Wall.
We want to get the photos to VVMF by November 11, 2014 or Veteran’s Day. It is the very least we can do to show our honor and love for these American soldiers.
– Andrew Johnson