NIM announces plans for new Vietnam Memorial

Col. Jack Jacobs
Col. Jack Jacobs

COLUMBUS, GA (WTVM) - The National Infantry Foundation is proud to announce the dedication of a new Vietnam Memorial featuring the Dignity Memorial Vietnam Wall Friday, March 21 at the National Infantry Museum and Soldier Center.

The museum will pay further homage to veterans of that era during a half-day symposium and dinner the day before.

Dignity Memorial – a funeral, cremation and cemetery service provider – commissioned the creation of the Wall, which is a ¾-scale replica of the Vietnam Memorial in Washington, D.C.

Since 1990, the replica has traveled to more than 200 cities across the country, giving millions of Americans the opportunity to experience its healing power.

Now the Wall has been retired from traveling and the National Infantry Foundation has entered into a 5-year agreement with Dignity Memorial for the museum to become its new home.

It is the same Wall that was on display at the museum for two weeks during the 2010 Welcome Home ceremony for Vietnam veterans. The 8-foot-high, 240-foot-long replica has a black, faux-granite reflective surface inscribed with the names of more than 58,000 servicemen and women who died or are missing in Vietnam.

When visitors look at the names on the Wall, they see their reflection, too, which is meant to symbolically bring together the past and present, and to connect faces with names.

The dedication on March 21 will feature guest speaker Colonel (Retired) Jack Jacobs, who earned the Medal of Honor for exceptional heroism on the battlefields of Vietnam. Jacobs was an adviser to a Vietnamese Infantry battalion when it came under enemy fire, disabling the commander.

Although suffering from severe head wounds himself, then-First Lieutenant Jacobs took command, withdrew the unit to safety, and returned again and again under intense fire to rescue the wounded and perform life-saving first aid. He saved the lives of a U.S. adviser and 13 allied soldiers. Today, Jacobs is a military analyst for NBC News.

The public also is invited to attend a symposium on Thursday, March 20. It will feature panel discussions with four Vietnam era prisoners of war and four Medal of Honor recipients.

Additional guest speakers include MG H.R. McMaster, MCoE Commanding General; Joe Galloway, journalist and co-author of We Were Soldiers Once…and Young; and Alvin Townley, author of Defiant. Seating is limited; registration opens January 20 at this link on the NIM website. Additional details will be posted soon.

The National Infantry Museum and Soldier Center at Patriot Park, a 200-acre tract linking Columbus, Georgia, and the Maneuver Center of Excellence at Fort Benning, is the first world-class site to pay tribute to the U.S. Army Infantryman and those who fight alongside him. As the only interactive Army Museum in the United States, the museum showcases the contributions of the Infantry Soldier in every war fought by the U.S. by offering immersive participation and engaging visitors in the unique experiences of the Infantry Soldier. The complex also includes a parade field, memorial walk of honor, authentic World War II Company Street and 3-D IMAX® Theatre. For more information, visit