There most likely won't be any front page news stories, or big national ceremonies, but April 20th is In Memory Day. It honors Vietnam veterans who have died due to combat related injuries but do not meet the criteria to have their names added to the Wall.
Agent Orange claims new war casualties every year as does PTSD. It is a sad turn the DoD refuses to acknowledge the bills of war come due years later.
“The Department of Defense developed specific parameters that allow only the names of service members who died of wounds suffered in combat zones to be added to the Vietnam Veterans Memorial,” Scruggs said. “The In Memory program recognizes those men and women who have died prematurely as a result of the Vietnam War, but who do not meet the criteria. Many of their deaths are a result of Agent Orange exposure and emotional wounds that never healed.”
During the ceremony, family members read aloud their loved ones’ names in chronological order by date of death. Following the ceremony, participants lay tributes at the base of The Wall corresponding to the honorees’ dates of service in Vietnam, so that these Vietnam veterans come to rest near those comrades with whom they served. With the addition of this year’s honorees, over 1,800 individuals will be honored in the In Memory Honor Roll.
The annual In Memory ceremony is held on the third Monday of April. That date was chosen specifically to coincide with Patriots Day, which commemorates the battles of Lexington and Concord at the start of the Revolutionary War—the first time Americans fought for freedom and democracy.