What if you could put a face to every name on the Vietnam Veterans Memorial? Officials with the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund (VVMF) hope that happens.
The National Call for Photos is a project organized by the VVMF to match a headshot or portrait photograph to every service member listed on The Wall.
The pictures will be displayed in an exhibit at the future Education Center at The Wall, an underground visitors center to be built near the Vietnam Veterans and the Lincoln memorials. Everyday, the center will celebrate the birthdays of service members who died during the Vietnam War by featuring their photos on a giant digital wall.
So far, 25,526 veterans have complete profiles with at least one photograph, according to George Pojani, a VVMF research associate. These profiles are currently featured on The Virtual Wall, an online database of the memorial's veterans.
There are 146 veterans' names on The Wall who were from St. Louis County. Four of the service members are from , and one of those veterans need photos. There are no names from , Glencoe, or Grover on this electronic list.
Those from Eureka include:
- Wayne Peter Earl, Breeding PFC, Eureka, April 13, 1946-Oct. 9, 1965.
- Charles Wendle Grizzle, Second Lt. Army, Eureka, Oct. 2, 1943-Nov. 10, 1967.
- Leslie E. Livingston III, PFC, Marine Corps, Eureka, Sept. 19, 1949-Feb. 20, 1970.
- James Burnel Rice Jr., Cpl. Marine Corps, Eureka, July 25, 1946-Feb. 23, 1969.
To locate photos for the project, contributors can visit The Wall website and search for veterans who enlisted in their area. The VVMF recommends contacting family and friends of the veterans to find photographs or visit local libraries and search through yearbooks or newspaper obituaries.
To submit a photograph, contributors should obtain a high quality scan of the image. They also may post a remembrance. The VVMF will send an email to contributors when their photograph is posted with a matching profile.
Relatives of service members with complete profiles are encouraged to submit photographs to the VVMF, even if there is already a photo available.
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Pojani said contributors to the National Call for Photos will help improve the visitor's experience at the Vietnam Veterans Memorial.
"It's a place where people can go back and find stories about all the casualties on The Wall," Pojani said about the future education center. "It will be more personal than just names on The Wall."