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Contact: Heidi Zimmerman, 202-393-0090 ext 118
Washington, D.C. –The Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund (VVMF) and the National Park Service will host the annual Veterans Day ceremony to celebrate the service and honor the sacrifice of America's armed forces. Secretary of Defense Charles T. Hagel will present the keynote remarks and pay tribute to America's service members, past and present. The event will be held at The Wall on Tuesday, November 11, at 1:00 p.m. and is free and open to the public.
This year's ceremony will celebrate the 30th anniversary of the dedication of The Three Servicemen Statue. The bronze sculpture was unveiled on Veterans Day in 1984, two years after The Wall's completion. The late Frederick Hart constructed the statue to convey the emotional and heroic nature of the Vietnam generation. The statue depicts three soldiers, purposefully identifiable as Caucasian, African-American, and Hispanic-American, and continues to be a powerful tribute honoring our Vietnam veterans.
"Veterans Day is a day to celebrate the legacy of service in this country and honor the sacrifices that our service members and their families have made. Ceremonies, large and small, will be held across the country. VVMF's mission is to ensure that all service members are properly honored and these events give Americans a chance to say 'thank you for your service,'" said Jim Knotts, CEO of VVMF.
Secretary Hagel, the keynote speaker, is the first enlisted combat veteran to lead the Department of Defense. He joined the United States Army and volunteered to go to Vietnam, rising to the rank of Sergeant and serving as an infantry squad leader. He earned numerous military decorations and honors, including two Purple Hearts. He has committed his life to public service and was sworn in as Secretary of Defense in 2013.
The master of ceremonies for the event will be Jake Tapper, CNN Anchor, Chief Washington correspondent and host of "The Lead with Jake Tapper."Major General James "A." Spider Marks, USA (Ret.), Executive Dean, University of Phoenix will provide remarks. The Vietnam Women's Memorial Foundation will be represented by founder and president Diane Carlson Evans, and Arlene Adams-Catalo, U.S. Army Nurse Corps, Vietnam.
About VVMF and the Education Center at The Wall
The Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund (VVMF) is the nonprofit organization that built the Vietnam Veterans Memorial (The Wall) in Washington, D.C. in 1982. VVMF is dedicated to preserving the legacy of The Wall, promoting healing and educating future generations about the impact of the Vietnam War through programs, ceremonies and education.
Three decades later, the mission continues as VVMF raises funds to build the Education Center at The Wall. The Center will be an interactive learning facility on the National Mall where our military heroes' stories and sacrifice will never be forgotten. The Education Center will feature the faces and stories of the more than 58,000 men and women on The Wall and honor America's Legacy of Service, including those serving in our nation's Armed Forces today. Time Warner is the Lead Gift Benefactor in the campaign to build the Education Center at The Wall. To learn more about VVMF and the Education Center at The Wall, visit www.vvmf.org or call 866-990-WALL.