New Mexicans urged to honor fallen vets

-A A +A

Gov. Richardson issues challenge to get behind project to collect photos

By The Staff

SANTA FE — Gov. Bill Richardson Wednesday issued a challenge to New Mexicans to get behind a “National Call for Photos,” a project to collect photos of all names listed on the National Vietnam Veterans’ Memorial Wall in Washington D.C.

  “I want New Mexico to be the first state in the country to gather all photos of our heroes who lost their lives during the Vietnam War,” Richardson said. “Our state has a rich military heritage and a strong sense of service to our country, so I ask that New Mexicans embrace this latest call for action with the same enthusiasm we’ve always shown for our veterans.”

  The names of 58,261 fallen soldiers are listed on the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Wall, including 400 New Mexicans.

  Jan Scruggs, founder of The Wall and president of the National Vietnam Veterans’ Memorial Fund joined Richardson for Wednesday’s announcement at the State Capitol and applauded New Mexico’s commitment to the project.

The State Vietnam Veterans’ Memorial Monument in Angel Fire has already collected about half of New Mexico’s photos.

  The photos will be part of a permanent digital display at a Vietnam Veterans’ Education Center to be built near The Wall and the Lincoln Memorial on the National Mall.  

  “While the Memorial Wall will forever preserve the honor and sacrifice of our fallen heroes who served in Vietnam, the photo wall will put a face to the names so that we may see for ourselves who these brave warriors were,” Veterans’ Secretary John Garcia said. “I urge all New Mexicans to take up the governor’s challenge and help us continue to honor these brave individuals.”

  As a partner in the Call for Photos, FedEx Office has made scanning facilities available to gather photos in all of its more than 1,600 locations nationwide. Individuals with photos can visit any FedEx Office store and have their photo scanned and submitted to the Memorial Fund, along with an information sheet, free of charge.

Those who do not have a FedEx Office location close to them can visit the Web site, www.VVMFCCenter.org and learn how to scan a photo from their home computer.