The Vietnam Veterans Memorial contains the names of 58,256 men and women who died while serving in the U.S. armed forces in the Vietnam War. The Memorial's black granite walls have always stood to remember all of the nearly 3.5 million who participated in the divisive and controversial conflict.

"The Department of Defense developed very specific parameters that allow only the names of service members who died of injuries suffered in combat zones to be inscribed on the Vietnam Veterans Memorial." Scruggs said. "The In Memory program recognizes those men and women who have died prematurely as a result of the Vietnam War, but who do not meet the criteria. Many of their deaths are a result of Agent Orange exposure and emotional wounds that never healed."

During the ceremony, family members read aloud their loved ones' names in chronological order by date of death. Following the ceremony, participants lay tributes at the base of The Wall corresponding to the honorees' dates of service in Vietnam, so that these Vietnam veterans come to rest near those comrades with whom they served. With the addition of this year's honorees, more than 1,700 individuals will be honored in the In Memory Honor Roll.