THE WHITE HOUSE
Office of the Vice President
VICE PRESIDENT GORE UNVEILS A VIETNAM VETERANS "VIRTUAL WALL" ON THE INTERNET AS PART OF A NEW VETERAN'S EDUCATION INITIATIVE Also, Highlights New World War II Veterans Stamps
Washington, DC -- Vice President Gore announced today the creation of a Vietnam veterans "virtual wall" as part of a new web site to enable users to search for names and hear personal remembrances of Vietnam veterans.
"For 15 years, people have come to the Vietnam Wall to run their hands across the names and remember those who never came home," Vice President Gore said. "Now, anybody who can run their hands across a computer keyboard will be able to make contact with those names and learn even more -- that these names belong to people who were brothers and sons, husbands and wives, mothers and daughters and that their courage helped make our freedom possible."
The web site -- a joint project of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund and Winstar Communications, Inc. -- will become available in two stages:
Starting Veterans' Day, users will be able to tap into a new web site on which they can click onto a deceased veteran's name and hear audio remembrances from family members or friends. Starting January 1999, users will be able to walk up to an on-line virtual wall that recreates the look and feel of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Wall, run their hands over a veteran's name as it appears on the actual memorial, and hear audio remembrances from family members or friends. The virtual wall is part of a nationwide program, The Young
Americans Vietnam War Era Studies Project, to help educate students at over 17,000 American public and private high schools about the Vietnam War.
The project will include Vietnam-era high school curriculum guides that, among other things, will include an introduction to the Vietnam War; a look at the politics of the war; and information about those who served. An Internet Education Center will focus on the historical, social, and political aspects of the war.
The Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund also created a traveling replica of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial, which is currently located in New York, to allow grieving survivors and families to view the memorial in their own communities. On Veterans Day, the traveling exhibit will include kiosks to enable Americans to record their remembrances of the war for posting on the virtual wall.
Earlier today, the Vice President unveiled the U.S. Postal Services' Celebrate the Century stamp series that includes three new World War II-related stamps:
the "World War II" stamp that pays tribute to the 16 million men and women who served and sacrificed in uniform during that war; the "Women Support War Effort" stamp that honors the contributions of home front war workers, without whom soldiers, sailors, pilots, and marines could not have achieved victory; and the "GI Bill 1994" stamp that salutes the legislation that provided benefits for veterans. The Vice President praised the American Battle Monuments Commission
and the U.S. Postal Service for coming together to make these commemorative stamps available to the American public.