All 3,150 photos of Pennsylvania’s American heroes who died in the Vietnam War have been found and are now posted on the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund’s (VVMF) virtual Wall of Faces for everyone to honor around the world. The final elusive photo recently added was that of U.S. Air Force Master Sgt. Matthew Harris Jr., of Philadelphia.
“It is incredibly gratifying to know that all 3,150 Pennsylvanians who died in Vietnam are now represented on the virtual Wall Of Faces where they can be honored by anyone, from anywhere around the world,” said Gov. Tom Wolf. “We owe a debt of gratitude to the Department of Military and Veterans Affairs who led this effort, along with everyone they partnered with over the past four years, for tenaciously searching until the last photo was found. Completing this project demonstrates just how much pride Pennsylvania has in all of those who have served our great nation, and that no one will ever be forgotten.”
For the past four years the Pennsylvania Department of Military and Veterans Affairs (DMVA) has partnered with the VVMF in Washington, D.C., to find a photo of every Pennsylvanian whose name appears on the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Wall – commonly referred to as The Wall. The VVMF has been posting the photos on a virtual Wall of Faces in order to put a face and a story to every name to help preserve their legacies.
“This was a great and incredibly important project that helps show the families and friends of the Pennsylvanians lost in Vietnam that their loved ones will not be forgotten,” said Maj. Gen. Anthony Carrelli, Pennsylvania’s adjutant general and head of the DMVA. “We owe a huge thanks to all of the volunteers from around the country who have been instrumental in locating these photos and spreading the word about the Wall of Faces effort.
“I’d also like to give a few deserved shout-outs to the Pennsylvania media outlets who featured this program, the Public History Program students at Stevenson University in Maryland, members of the Pennsylvania Civil Air Patrol, and Vietnam veteran John Thomstatter and his team of researchers, who helped get us to the finish line.”
As an official partner in the Department of Defense’s Commemoration of the 50th Anniversary of the Vietnam War, completing the Wall of Faces project is one way the DMVA is showing its support of the service, sacrifice and legacy of Vietnam veterans.
Since the VVMF launched the photo campaign in October 2009, the VVMF has located photos for more than 57,900 of the names inscribed on the memorial. To date, 44 states, two U.S. territories and the District of Columbia have found every photo for their fallen.
To view the virtual Wall of Faces, which includes all 3,150 Pennsylvanians, click here.
Source: Pennsylvania Department of Military and Veterans Affairs