ST. GEORGE — U.S. Secretary of the Interior and retired U.S. Navy SEAL Commander Ryan Zinke was one of those participating in the “Reading of the Names” at the Vietnam War Memorial in Washington, D.C. The secretary read 60 names on Nov. 8, according to a statement from the Department of the Interior.
The four-day event marks the 35th anniversary of “The Wall” and features more than 1,000 volunteers reading every name of the fallen who are enshrined on the memorial.
The Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund is hosting the Reading of the Names of the 58,318 service members inscribed on The Wall as part of the activities planned this month to commemorate the anniversary, according to the organization’s website.
The Reading of the Names will take place for 65 hours over four days beginning with an opening ceremony Nov. 7. Volunteers read names from 4 p.m. to midnight. Each day through Nov. 10, participants will then read the names for 19 hours from 5 a.m. until midnight.
Based in Arlington, Virginia, the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund is the nonprofit organization authorized by Congress in 1980 to build a national memorial dedicated to all who served with the U.S. armed forces in the Vietnam War. Incorporated on April 27, 1979 by a group of veterans led by Jan C. Scruggs, the organization sought a tangible symbol of recognition from the American people for those who served in the war.
The result was the Vietnam Veterans Memorial, which has become one of the most visited memorials in Washington, D.C. with an estimated 5.6 million annual visitors.