Harris asks for help on project to gather photos of veterans
Rep. David Harris (R-Arlington Heights) is calling on Illinois communities to assist him in a project to help honor veterans.
Harris held a press conference Nov. 7 to discuss the help that is needed with House Resolution 530, a project to retrieve missing photos of military service members named on the memorial wall in Washington, D.C. that he co-sponsored with Veterans’ Affairs Committee Chair Linda Chapa LaVia (D-Aurora) and backed by the National Newspaper Association and Illinois Press Association.
“I want to draw attention to House Resolution 530,” Harris said of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund’s “Wall of Faces” project. “It is an encouragement for the communities around the state of Illinois and individuals to try and get a photograph record for every name on the wall in Washington D.C.”
Harris said because of a 1973 fire in St. Louis, photos of up to 24,000 service members listed on the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Wall were lost, which is why the Illinois Press Association asked Harris help to recover the remaining 479 missing photos of Illinois’ fallen service members.
“There are more than 58,000 names on the wall,” Harris said. “We owe a lot to the soldiers, sailors, airmen and Marines and Coast Guard as well as all who have served so honorably, but this keys in specifically on Vietnam veterans.”
If any Illinois citizen wishes to assist in the project, they are encouraged to visit www.vvmf.org to search for a fallen Vietnam veteran from their locale. To find out who is missing from the respective Illinois community, citizens can go under the Wall of Faces Project and search by county. If indeed a fallen service member is from the county and a citizen has a photograph of them, they are encouraged to upload the photo and requested information.
“I am actually very honored to sponsor the resolution and happy to have the co-sponsors of the Veteran Affairs Committee,” Harris said. “My thanks also goes to the National Newspaper Association and Illinois Press Association.”