Frequently asked questions about The Virtual Wall ®

Does this organization maintain the Wall in Washington, DC?  NO. The Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington, DC is maintained by the US National Park Service using your tax dollars. The Wall is staffed by National Park Service rangers and National Park Service volunteers. The National Park Service provides uniforms, rubbing papers, and other supplies for volunteers. National Park Service employees perform maintenance to care for The Wall, the grounds around it, and such things as setting up the stage and chairs and crowd control for ceremonies.

How much does it cost to leave a remembrance?  The fallen of the war have already paid the last full measure. You can not pay us a donation or fee and we will not put advertising on The Virtual Wall. The volunteer staff who work on The Virtual Wall have lost friends or relatives in the war. We will not profit from their loss.

Is the material on The Virtual Wall copyrighted? YES. The photographs and text of personal remembrances submitted by private individuals belong to them; The Virtual Wall does not claim copyright over these items. Unit and certain other information is derived from The Coffelt Database,  an intellectual property of The Coffelt Group and protected under their copyright; the Coffelt Group has granted permission to, Ltd to use The Coffelt Database. The content of "Notes from The Virtual Wall" researched and prepared by K. J. Davis belongs to him; The Virtual Wall does not claim copyright over his "Notes" but uses them with permission. All other graphics and text are the intellectual property of, Ltd and are protected by US and international copyright laws and treaties. Each individual page on the web site, as a compilation, is similarly protected, just as individual pages in a book are protected by the overall copyright granted to the book itself.

Why doesThe Virtual Wall copyright this material? As noted above, we very strongly believe our Vietnam dead should be protected against commercial exploitation. Copyrighting the contents of our site is one method of avoiding such exploitation.

Can I get permission to use The Virtual Wall's copyrighted material? MAYBE. Permission MAY be granted (or denied) depending on the intended use of the material. E-mail the Webmaster  specifying exactly what material is requested, citing the source page(s) as well as the specific material, and what you want to do with it. If permission is granted, you will be required to include attribution to and a "Used with permission" caveat.

How many remembrances are on The Virtual Wall?  A "memorial page" is one web page that honors one particular person. Most memorial pages have several "remembrances." Many have more than ten remembrances. If we told you the number of remembrances you might compare that with the 58,300 names on the Wall, which would be misleading. Someone once suggested we should even count each graphic and photo as a "remembrance" to falsely increase the number. We don't count the graphics and we don't report how many remembrances are published on The Virtual Wall.

How many "hits" does The Virtual Wall get?  We don't report hits because that number would be very misleading. The technical definition of "hits" is the total number of files transferred in a day. That count includes each little graphics file, pictures, and backgrounds. The number of hits in a day is therefore many, many, times larger than the number of persons who visited the site that day. For example, the front page of The Virtual Wall has 32 graphics, so one person viewing only that page would count as 33 hits. If that person visited the front page again that day, that visit would count as another 33 hits.

Why did you "decline " to publish a remembrance I submitted? The mission of The Virtual Wall is to provide the means for relatives and friends of the fallen to honor and remember them. We intended there to be a truly personal connection between the requestor and the person memorialized: being a relative, a friend, a friend of a relative, or having worn a POW/MIA bracelet. For several years we accepted messages from others, such as "I am a high school student studying the Vietnam War," or "a grateful American," or "a fellow veteran." While we understand the intent, we became swamped by such requests to the point processing them delayed serving the people we intended to serve. We have gone back to declining requests outside of our mission. We also have declined to publish text from persons with misdirected anti-war sentiment who tried to insult the fallen or their families by blaming them for the war.

Do you edit remembrances? We certainly do. The Virtual Wall is a publication, not a wild anything-goes blog. We remove any form of vulgarity or insult. We correct spelling, punctuation, capitalization, and grammatical errors when we find them. We also edit photographs to crop, resize, remove noise, and adjust the color balance.

Does this organization run the Traveling Wall? We have very close relations with The Moving Wall but we have separate organizations. The Moving Wall opened in 1984.

Where did the idea for The Virtual Wall come from? In 1996 the Vietnam Veterans Home Page and the web site of Friends of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial both had a small collection of memorial web pages. In March, 1997 the founders of those organizations and some vets who are National Park Service volunteers at the Wall decided to have a web site dedicated solely to memorial pages. 

How has The Virtual Wall been funded? For our first four years, internet services were generously provided free by Integration, Incorporated of Batavia, New York. Failing health caused the owner to sell that business. Since then, costs have come out of the pockets of two volunteers. We have sent checks back to several generous persons. We plan to someday apply to acquire IRS 501(c)3 not-for-profit status. After that status is achieved, we plan to accept donations to help us defray our costs.

Have you thought of accepting advertising to make money? We have had many offers of money in exchange for links, icons, and outright advertising. To many of us who have lost friends or relatives in the war, commercializing their sacrifices would be like making the Wall in Washington into a billboard.

How about having music on The Virtual Wall? We considered and tried patriotic or remembrance music on memorial pages. There are currently too many problems with sounds on web pages, including slow download times and incompatibilities that can crash browser programs or the annoying message "you can't view this page until you install a specific multimedia driver." When we first opened The Virtual Wall in 1997, we announced we would accept voice recordings of memorials but too many technical problems have prevented reaching that goal.

Ask us a question. We will answer you by email and we might post the answer here!

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