About The Virtual Wall ®

The Virtual Wall is the name of this web site. The Virtual Wall has memorial pages honoring the 58,300 women and men who are named on "The Wall", the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington, DC, USA; those military persons who gave the "ultimate sacrifice" for their country. The Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington was built from private donations collected by the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund. The Wall was dedicated in 1982, and completed in 1984 with the addition of the "Three Servicemen Statue." Since its completion, The Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington has belonged to the people of the United States of America and has been maintained by the U. S. National Park Service. This web site is not affiliated with the US NPS.

On The Virtual Wall, visitors may leave tributes, letters, poems, photos, and other memorials to someone named on The Wall for other visitors to view. The goal is to provide an environment like The Wall itself, with the dignity and respect those named on The Wall have earned. There are no flashy or noisy distractions, no commercials, no fee to publish a memorial, and no hand held out for donations.

Each name on the index pages of The Virtual Wall leads to a memorial for that person, a memorial written by someone who had a personal connection to the man or woman being remembered

History of The Virtual Wall

The Virtual Wall was first open to the public on March 23, 1997. On that date the phrase "The Virtual Wall" was established as the unique trademark for this web site with personal memorials to Vietnam War casualties. Shortly after opening, The Virtual Wall was indexed on all major search engines, had reciprocal links with many other Vietnam veteran sites, and was added to the Vietnam Veterans Web ring. Anyone searching for the words "virtual, wall, vietnam, veterans, memorial" or combinations and subsets of those words would have easily found the site. On April 28, 1997 the domain name www.VirtualWall.org was officially registered to this site as a world-wide unique name with Network Solutions. Trademarks may be checked on the web site of U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.

The Virtual Wall was opened by Jim Schueckler, a Vietnam (War) veteran who founded The Virtual Wall Association (later renamed www.VirtualWall.org, Ltd.) Several persons who served in Vietnam, both civilian and military, and several persons with friends or relatives killed in Vietnam have served on its advisory board. The concept of internet memorials to Vietnam War casualties was first used on the web site of the Friends of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial, (an organization that no longer exists) and on the Vietnam Veterans Home Page. The leaders of those web sites served on the board and helped to create this web site dedicated solely to such memorials.

In September, 1999 another Vietnam veteran, Kenneth Davis (CDR, U.S. Navy, retired: A6 "Intruder" bomber/navigator) joined The Virtual Wall volunteer team and has since made thousands of beautiful memorial pages and major improvements to www.VirtualWall.org. In December, 2001 Channing Prothro, a former Marine in the Combined Action Platoon program, joined as the third volunteer on The Virtual Wall. In the year 2000, Channing was the driver and site facilitator for one of the structures of The Moving Wall (tm) and is the webmaster of The Moving Wall's web site. These three volunteers work on The Virtual Wall from their homes in their spare time. Between them, they have about 70 friends named on The Wall.

On November 11, 2000 The Virtual Wall began the Faces of Freedom project to collect photographs of all those named on The Wall in Washington and use their photographs as a visual index that would lead to the detailed personal memorials of each person. Small photographs from Faces of Freedom are selected by a random process for display on the front page of The Virtual Wall.

On April 5, 2001 Ken Davis added the Height of Valor index to pay special tribute to those named on The Virtual Wall who had earned our nation's highest military honors.

On May 1, 2001 Ken added the Current MIA Status index, updated frequently and formatted for ease of use. Since opening in 1997, The Virtual Wall had received many inquiries about the status of particular men listed as Missing In Action (MIA), which changed frequently as remains were found. The most recent information was available on a government web site but in a form that was not easily readable by novice computer users.

On January 28, 2002 The Virtual Wall became an "Official Partner" in the Veterans History Project of the Library of Congress. Every six months, The Virtual Wall will donate a CD-ROM snapshot of the whole website of The Virtual Wall. This places all of the photographs, poems, letters, citations, and indexes into the history archives of our country, ensuring their safe keeping and availability for future generations.

For more than four years Integration, Incorporated (IInc), of Batavia, New York, provided the server, disk space, and bandwidth for "The Virtual Wall" as a public service. IInc was paid absolutely nothing and they did not ask to have their corporate logo on pages meant to honor the fallen. Other costs to maintain The Virtual Wall came from the pockets of the three veteran volunteers for more than five years. To ensure longevity of the web site, on June 26, 2002, "www.VirtualWall.org, Ltd." became a not-for-profit corporation in New York State. The board is now working on the process to acquire IRS 501(c)3 not-for-profit status.

Jim Schueckler was president of www.VirtualWall.org, Ltd. from March, 1997 to July, 2003 and from July, 2013 to present. Ken Davis was president from July, 2003 to July, 2013. Channing Prothro and Jack Morrison serve on the Board of Directors.


 
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