Not to be confused with Veterans Day, which will be celebrated on Nov 11, 2020, today has been designated as National Vietnam War Veterans Day according to a law recently signed by President Trump. More information on this event can be read at

Of the 2.7 million U. S. veterans who served in Vietnam, more than 58,000 were killed and they have been memorialized by having their names inscribed on The Vietnam Wall in Washington, D.C.

Perhaps it would be appropriate to honor the Vietnam veterans whose names are on The Wall by viewing their photos on The Wall of Faces at Have you found the photo of your friend or loved one who fought and died in that war?

“Since 1973, the remains of more than 1,000 Americans killed in the Vietnam War have been identified and returned to their families for burial with full military honors.” However, more than 1,500 Americans are still unaccounted for. Their names are part of the US’s database: Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency, which can be accessed at

For example, from this website one can learn identifying information about all the Illinois veterans on this list, including 47 that have been accounted for since 1973. The eight who have not been accounted for are Maj. Jon Keith Bodahl, Capt. Curtis Richard Bohlscheid, Capt. Gregg Ney-man Hollinger, Ens. Hal T, Hollingsworth, E6 William Balt Hunt, Maj. William Ellsworth Lemmons, Cdr Roderick Lewis Mayer, and CW2 Jon Michael Sparks.

The database includes each veterans’ military service, service number, unit, date of loss, conflict era status and country of casualty.

By a presidential proclamation in 2012 the Secretary of Defense established a commemo-ration of the 50th anniversary of the Vietnam War to extend from Memorial Day 2012 through Veterans Day 2025. To learn about the objectives of this project and to participate in this project, visit “Become a Commemorative Partner and thank a Vietnam veter-an today!”

It should be noted that due to closures caused by the present coronavirus, the scheduled commemorative events have been cancelled. To learn of changes in scheduling, visit

Missing from all wars

Although today’s emphasis is on Vietnam War veterans. We should be thankful for the efforts of all American servicemen and women in all American wars. Thus it seems appropriate to call attention to a website where one may search the complete POW/MIA database for missing veterans (both unaccounted-for and accounted-for) of all wars. Visit the Defense POW/MIA Ac-counting Agency’s website at (Also click on related links available on the toolbar; they include families, our missing, news and stories, about, resources, and contact.)

Be thankful

Judy G. Russell, “The Legal Genealogist,” has posted a kind reminder to all of us that in spite of the terrible effects of the coronavirus on all our lives, we still have much to be thankful for. Read her uplifting thoughts at (as well as readers’ comments.)

Queries, as well as a general exchange of genealogical material that readers would like to share, will be printed in the column for free. Contact Joan Griffis by e-mailing

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