Alamo City Echoes from The Wall
‘Faces with Names’ Vietnam Memorial Project comes to a close
SAN ANTONIO – A passionate and dedicated group of San Antonio volunteers will conclude a two-and-a-half-year effort to gather images of San Antonio’s Vietnam casualties this May 16, in advance of Memorial Day. Challenged by UTSA President Ricardo Romo, the volunteers have accounted for 326 of 354 images.
San Antonio Spurs owner and Vietnam Veteran Peter Holt championed the national call for photos as a major component of the forthcoming Education Center at The Wall. Faces with Names, the local effort, has been hailed by Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund President Jan Scruggs as a template for other U.S. cities.
Locally, Holt asked Ricardo Romo, a noted historian and San Antonio native, to take on the project. Romo in turn sought out Fox Tech High School classmates to spearhead the efforts. At the May 16 ceremony, the volunteers will turn over their portfolio to the Institute of Texan Cultures.
"Projects like Faces with Names allow UTSA, through the Institute of Texan Cultures, to recognize and connect with San Antonians," said Romo. "Our volunteers have generated a body of knowledge that benefits society by reminding us of the price of our freedom. In each image of a fallen service member, we gain an appreciation of our human condition."
The Institute of Texan Cultures will serve as the local custodian of the images and will prepare a tribute to the casualties at a future date. Copies of the photos will be provided to local government officials and a copy will be sent to Washington, D.C. for inclusion at the education center and online posting at the virtual wall, vvmf.org/TheWall
The researchers pursued leads through local high schools, veterans organizations, archive documents and surviving family members. The project is 91 percent complete and volunteers continue to seek the final 28 images. The collected photos will soon be available on vvmf.org/TheWall. A roster of remaining names is posted at TexanCultures.com/FaceswithNames
The Institute of Texan Cultures is located on the UTSA HemisFair Park Campus, 801 E. César E. Chávez Blvd., a short distance from the Alamo and the River Walk. For more information, visit TexanCultures.com/FacesWithNames