vvmfVILLA PARK- When the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington D.C. was completed in the early 1980s, nearly 60,000 service members who had either died or were missing in action in the Vietnam War were honored.

Personnel records on many of those listed on the wall, however, were destroyed in a fire at a government facility in 1973. Since that time, the military and a host of organizations have been working to establish information on who these brave men and women were.

State Senator Tom Cullerton (D-Villa Park) is urging Illinois residents to help give a face and name to these heroes.

“Our nation’s heroes made the ultimate sacrifice to fight for our freedoms and protect our democracy,” Cullerton said. “Every fallen solider was someone’s son, friend, child, parent or neighbor. They had dreams and served to protect our great nation. Now it is our turn to preserve their memory and honor their service to our country and state.”

The Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund and its Wall of Faces project is collecting photos of every service member honored on the wall. Cullerton says Illinois residents can visit www.vvmf.org/how-to-submit to learn how to submit pictures to the project and help honor our fallen.

Earlier this month, Cullerton passed a resolution urging Illinois communities to become involved in the Wall of Faces project.

Andrew Johnson, Vice President of the National Newspaper Association said, “It was awesome to witness how quickly the Illinois General Assembly acted to support a bill honoring Illinois’ Vietnam veterans. Their actions in passing this resolution will ensure that Illinois’ veterans who made the ultimate sacrifice will never be forgotten.”

Out of the 58,000 names on the memorial wall, fewer than 5,000 remain without a photo. More than 20 states have found every photo for their fallen service members.

“I urge residents across our state to work together to match names with faces of our fallen,” Cullerton said. “My hope is Illinois will become the next state to find a photo of each one. Our state is known for honoring and recognizing the accomplishments of our military men and women. I have no doubt our communities will work together to find photos of our Vietnam Veterans and give our fallen heroes the respect they deserve. ”

Senate Resolution 731 passed the Senate with bipartisan support. Cullerton urges Illinois residents and veterans organizations to reach out to his Villa Park office at (630) 903-6662 with any questions or concerns.

Category: Press Releases