WASHINGTON, May 4, 2010 – This week, the names of six American servicemembers will join the list of other departed or missing troops featured on the intersecting black-granite walls of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial
Army Lt. Col. William Taylor’s name was engraved at a ceremony today at the memorial on the National Mall here. The names of Marine Corps Lance Cpls. John Granville and Clayton Hough Jr., Marine Corps Cpl. Ronald Vivona, Army Capt. Edward Miles and Army Sgt. Michael Morehouse will be added later this week.
The new additions are veterans who survived serious injury in the war but were determined by Defense Department officials to have „died as a result of wounds [combat or hostile related] sustained in the combat zone“ that required drastic measures, such as amputation.
„It’s an important honor to pay tribute to our nation’s veterans – of Vietnam, especially,“ said J.C. Cummings, the architect of record for the memorial. The main part of the memorial was completed in 1982.
Cummings said a space on the wall allows Taylor’s name to fit the chronological scheme as if his name had been in the database of fallen soldiers when the wall was first built. Of the six names being added to the wall this week, three of them can be placed as such, he said.
„When these young men were over there, their units became a family, a military family,“ Cummings said. „We’re lucky because we can put the name where it belongs, with their brothers and sisters in arms.“
Taylor’s nephew, Thomas Carpenter, was in attendance today, along with family members of the five other servicemembers whose names are being added to the wall. Photos of each man were shown as each family gave a small tribute to their lost relative.
„I’m humbled in front of this wall,“ Carpenter said, „where they are forever young, strong and brave.“
James Lee, a stoneworker whose Colorado-based company has worked at the wall since 1987, said each name takes at least a few days to prepare. Multiple test stones are used to ensure the newly engraved names match the older ones in shape, size and depth.
„Every name that we add to the memorial further completes it,“ he said.
The engravings for 11 other servicemembers, from the Army and Air Force, will be modified to reflect that they’re no longer considered missing in action.
The changes will bring the total number of names on the Vietnam Veterans Memorial to 58,267 men and women who were killed or remain missing in action. The six new names will become official when they are read aloud during the annual Memorial Day ceremony May 31 at 1 p.m.
U.S. Department of Defense
Office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense (Public Affairs)