WASHINGTON, D.C. – More than 500 Vietnam veterans, including 34 from Illinois, will be inducted into the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund’s In Memory Program in 2019. The program honors Vietnam veterans whose lives were cut short as a result of their service after they returned home from Vietnam.
Among them are two veterans from Lake County:
• Walter J. Antczak, U.S. Marine Corps, Round Lake Beach, May 19, 1945 – December 28, 2007. Antczak also was a former Round Lake Beach village trustee.
• Robert M. Kofoed, U.S. Navy, Gurnee, June 11, 1928 – July 15, 1978.
On June 15, VVMF will host more than 2,000 attendees at the annual In Memory ceremony on the East Knoll of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial, where each 2019 honoree’s name will be read aloud. This year, 534 service members will be honored during the ceremony.
“For many Vietnam veterans, coming home from Vietnam was just the beginning of a whole new fight. Many never fully recovered, either physically or emotionally, from their experiences. As these veterans pass, it is our duty and solemn promise to welcome them home to the place that our nation has set aside to remember our Vietnam veterans,” Jim Knotts, president and CEO of VVMF, said in a news release.
The plaque that honors these veterans was dedicated as a part of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial site in 2004. It reads: “In Memory of the men and women who served in the Vietnam War and later died as a result of their service. We honor and remember their sacrifice.”
Once these veterans are inducted, they will each have a personal remembrance page online in the In Memory Honor Roll at www.vvmf.org/honor-roll. Their photos will be displayed around the country when VVMF’s mobile exhibit, The Wall That Heals, is on display in an honoree’s home state.
The 2019 In Memory ceremony will be shown live on VVMF’s Facebook page (www.facebook.com/vietnamveteransmemorialfund) beginning at 9 a.m. June 15. The In Memory program was created in 1993 and has since honored more than 4,000 veterans. For information on the In Memory program or to apply to have a loved one honored in 2020, visit www.vvmf.org/inmemory.