In partnership with Veterans Memorial Park of Pensacola, WSRE will host a week-long Reading of the Names at The Wall South in observance of Memorial Day and as the culminating event of the public television station’s community engagement activities surrounding last fall’s PBS documentary The Vietnam War.
The 58,318 names of servicemen and women whose lives were lost in the war will be read by volunteers beginning Sunday, May 20, at 1 p.m. Names will continue to be recited throughout the week leading up to the park’s Memorial Day ceremonies scheduled for Sunday, May 27, at 1 p.m. Each volunteer will receive a list of names that will take approximately two minutes to read.
Anyone may volunteer to read and can sign up online at WSRE.org/names.
“We expect a number of school groups and community organizations to participate, but also hope many of the volunteers will be individuals including veterans, active duty military, patriotic community members, and especially the family and friends of those whose names are listed on the wall,” said Jill Hubbs, director of WSRE Educational Content & Services.
Ms. Hubbs will be one of those individuals and looks forward to reading the name of her father, Donald Richard Hubbs, a Navy pilot who has been missing since his mission at the Gulf of Tonkin on March 17, 1968.
“This is a wonderful opportunity for the citizens of this area to be a part of an event that has been facilitated in Washington, D.C., only six times since the Vietnam Veterans Memorial was built,” said Paul Entrekin, president of the Veterans Memorial Park of Pensacola’s board of directors.
“It is a huge undertaking, but one which illustrates exactly why we observe Memorial Day. Every citizen who takes part in the Reading of the Names will know that they have paid honor to those who paid for our freedoms with their lives.”
– Mary Riker
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