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# Wednesday, March 26, 2008
See Vietnam Wall Names Free on Footnote
Posted by Diane

Footnote’s latest addition lets you search—free—for those whose names are etched into the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington, DC.

The site has added an interactive exhibit with a database of names linked to photos of each engraved name. The images are from a 460-foot photograph of the wall, consisting of 6,301 separate images “stitched” together.



The Wall bears 58,320 names of armed forces members who died or went missing while serving in the Vietnam War. (Names may be added on Memorial Day each year as the Department of Veterans Affairs receives additional information.)

You can search for a name or browse by a category, such as branch of service and hometown. You'll see a photo of each matching name. Click a match for details, including the person's hometown, rank, specialty (such as maintenance or field artillery), decorations, religion, marital status, birth date and death date and cause.

You also can click View on the exhibit's main page to see the entire stitched-together photo—then zoom in and move around. (As you might expect, the image takes a l-o-o-o-o-ng time to load.) Hover over a name, and a window pops up you can click for details on that person.



The black granite Vietnam Veterans Memorial was constructed in 1982 after its creator, 21-year-old architecture student Maya Ying Lin, won a competition to design it. A few years ago, I was one of its 3 million annual visitors. I most remember the solemn quiet—in contrast to the atmosphere around other memorials on the National Mall—and the sound of pencil scratchings as visitors made rubbings of names.

Most of Footnote's digitized historical records are available with a subscription or on a pay-per-view basis, but the virtual Wall exhibit is among the site's free offerings.

Update: Click Comments, below, for additional tips on searching the database and viewing the Wall.

Genealogy Web Sites | Military records
Wednesday, March 26, 2008 3:43:25 PM (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #  Comments [2]
Thursday, March 27, 2008 6:00:11 AM (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)
As noted, you can search by name, but you can also search by other information, such as home town. Just enter the town name or other text into the search box. I cannot praise Footnote enough for providing this service.
Gary Rasmussen
Thursday, March 27, 2008 7:22:09 AM (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)
Thanks for writing about this project. I just wanted to add a comment about a couple of things:

1- Despite its size, the wall really shouldn't load more slowly than other images on Footnote. We're just experiencing a lot more traffic and activity since the announcement of the project, so the site generally has slowed down. We're working to correct that.

2- When you use the search and find a person you are interested in, if you click the image of their name or the link to the "Vietnam Veterans Memorial" next to the image, you will go right to their name on the wall with their information open.

Peter Drinkwater
Product Manager, Footnote
Comments are closed.