April 20, 2016
If you have suffered through or been impacted by the Viet Nam war, either as a military veteran or as a resister or as a partner of a veteran or a child or a sibling of a veteran or just as a caring citizen of this country, you need to know that your voice is needed. On Memorial Day, May 30th, we will be delivering letters to the Vietnam Veterans Memorial (The Wall) with heartfelt messages to those young men and women whose names are on The Wall. Please join us.
Your note can be one paragraph long or many paragraphs. It can be written to a specific name on The Wall or just as a general cry out against war. Last year we laid 151 letters and 32 postcards at the foot of The Wall in a ceremony that not only profoundly affected us but also those who read the letters as they passed by. Rest assured that your letter will be treated with the respect and caring it deserves -- this ceremony is not a political action. It is an act of remembrance and grief.
But it also is more than a reaching out to the past. It is a message to the future. You who have firsthand knowledge of that war need to have your voices heard. For the next ten years we will be witnessing a series of fifty year commemorations that will mark the Viet Nam War in the minds of many young people. They need to know more than the "official" story of that war. They need to know the many truths that only you can tell. Please join us.
You have until MAY 14TH to write your letter and send it either as an email message to firstname.lastname@example.org or as a handwritten letter to Doug Rawlings, 13 Soper Road, Chesterville, Maine 04938. Feel free to post in our Facebook event page.
I will guarantee that your letter will be placed in a business envelope, opened at the top, with the words "PLEASE READ ME" emblazoned on the front flap, and then placed at the foot of The Wall at 10:30am, Memorial Day, May 30th. Last year, the National Park Service collected all of our letters and then asked if they could place the letters in a special display. We agreed. Our voices continue to be heard. Please put your voice alongside ours.
Photos from 2015 VFD Memorial Day Event - Courtesy of Ellen Davidson
Thank you, Doug Rawlings
Vietnam July 1969-August 1970