U.S. Department of the InteriorDOI News Header
Office of the Secretary
November 5, 2007
Joan Moody


Secretary Kempthorne to Preview Vietnam Memorial Exhibition Featuring Personal Items Left by Loved Ones at the "HealingWall"

WASHINGTON - On Nov. 8, 2007 at 11:00 a.m., Secretary of the Interior Dirk Kempthorne will give credentialed media representatives a preview of a Department of the Interior Museum exhibition commemorating the 25th anniversary of the dedication of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial. The new exhibition, entitled The Vietnam Veterans Memorial: America Responds, features photographs, drawings and models illustrating the creation of the memorial as well as some of the 100,000 personal objects left at the Wall.

Each day offerings are left by family, friends and veterans to honor the fallen. Each day these deeply personal objects are collected for the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Collection and cared for by the National Park Service, an Interior agency. The objects range from letters to those on the Wall, photos and mementos to larger objects. For example, Wisconsin veterans built a motorcycle in memory of 37 soldiers who remain unaccounted-for-POWs and MIAs. The motorcycle will not be ridden until the fate of the last Wisconsin soldier is known.

Who:Secretary of the Interior Dirk Kempthorne
David McKinney, Chief, Cultural Resources & Events
Hunter Hollins, Coordinator of Museum Services, Interior Museum
What:Media Preview of Exhibition at Interior Museum that opens to the public the following day.
RSVP TO: Joan Moody 202-208-6416
Where:The visitor entrance to the Main Interior Building is at 1849 C Street, NW,
Washington, D.C
Why:Nov. 13, 2007 marks the 25th anniversary of the dedication of the Vietnam Wall. Although controversy swirled around the monument in 1982, today between 3-4 million visitors a year come to pay their respects to those who gave their lives for their country in Vietnam.

The Interior Museum worked with the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund and the National Park Service to commemorate this anniversary by illustrating the difficult process that was undertaken to create the memorial and by sharing many of the objects left by the public for loved ones lost to the Vietnam War.

For more information call 202-208-4984 or visit: www.doi.gov/interiormuseum/.

* PUBLIC HOURS: The Nov. 8 preview is not open to the public; it is limited to credentialed media. It is hoped that those covering the event will alert their audiences that the exhibition will be open to the public from Friday, Nov. 9, 2007 until May 31, 2008, 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday (except Federal holidays and Christmas Eve), and during the third Saturday of each month from 1:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. On Veterans Day weekend (Nov.10, 11 and 12, 2007), it will be open for a special viewing from 10:00 am until 4:00 p.m. Saturday, Sunday and Monday.

— DOI —