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Story Last modified at 8:56 p.m. on Wednesday, April 13, 2011

In-Memory Day honors Vietnam vets left off wall

A ceremony in Wasilla at 7 p.m. on April 18 will honor Vietnam War veterans who died as a result of Agent Orange or Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome, and therefore do not qualify to have their names engraved on the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Wall in Washington D.C. Eagle River veteran Bob Lupo, who served during the Vietnam era, organized the event. A national ceremony called "In-Memory Day" has been held at the Washington D.C. wall on the third Monday in April for the past 12 years, Lupo said. The recognition is necessary because the government maintains that such wounds are not combat-inflicted, he said.

The Wasilla "In-Memory Day" ceremony will be the first in Alaska. It will take place at the Wasilla Veterans Wall of Honor, located along the Parks Highway next to the Mat-Su Convention and Visitors Bureau. Seating and restroom facilities will be available.

Vietnam veterans comprise the largest percentage of Alaska's veteran population – 24,000 out of 77,000 total, according to the Alaska Department of Military and Veterans Affairs.

Lupo asks any friends or family members with names of veterans they want recited during the ceremony to e-mail him at robert_lupo@juno.com.



This article published in The Alaska Star on Wednesday, April 13, 2011.