Vietnam vets looking for photos for memorial

File: Bob Cavanaugh takes a rubbing of the name of Joseph Kull Jr. from the Vietnam Veterans Memorial at Penn’s Landing. Kull was the brother of Cavanaugh’s best friend, who could not attend. MICHAEL BRYANT / Staff
File: Bob Cavanaugh takes a rubbing of the name of Joseph Kull Jr. from the Vietnam Veterans Memorial at Penn’s Landing. Kull was the brother of Cavanaugh’s best friend, who could not attend. MICHAEL BRYANT / Staff
Posted: September 11, 2012

THE TASK is going to be a hard one, but if anyone's up for it, it's these guys.

Members of the Philadelphia Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund are trying to obtain photos of the 646 local soldiers who died in 'Nam, and whose names are on display at the shrine at Front and Spruce streets.

The goal, said memorial-fund president Terry Williamson, is to ultimately install a kiosk on the grounds of the memorial that would allow visitors to see photos and read biographical information about each soldier who lost his life in the war.

A similar effort to collect photos of soldiers who were killed in Vietnam is under way in Washington, D.C., where officials are planning to build a visitor's center and education facility near the national Vietnam Veterans Memorial.

"It's going to be tough, frankly. I know they're having trouble in Washington getting good photos," Williamson said. "A lot of time has transpired."

Philly's memorial is a month shy of marking its 25th anniversary. The memorial fund has been calling attention to the milestone in part by posting "Warriors' Stories," snippets of information about the fallen local soldiers, on the memorial's website, pvvm.org.

Any quality photos that friends and relatives have to offer would be posted on the site as well, Williamson said.

Most of the images the memorial fund already has were clipped years ago from newspapers, and now are of poor quality.

"We truly would like to make the best representation of those young men that we can," Williamson said.

Photos of local soldiers who died in Vietnam can be emailed to info@pvvm.org, or mailed to Philadelphia Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund, 213 N. 4th St., Philadelphia, Pa., 19106. Instructions for having photos included at the education center near the national Vietnam Veterans Memorial can be found at vvmf.org.


Contact David Gambacorta at gambacd@phillynews.com or 215-854-5994. Follow him on Twitter at @dgambacorta.

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