Interesting Statistics of the Vietnam Memorial Wall
SOMETHING to think about –
Most of the surviving Parents are now deceased.
There are 58,267 names now listed on that polished black wall, including those added in 2010.
The names are arranged in the order in which they were taken from us by date and within each date
the names are alphabetized. It is hard to believe it is 36 years since the last casualties.
Beginning at the apex on panel 1E and going out to the end of the East wall, appearing to recede into
the earth (numbered 70E - May 25, 1968), then resuming at the end of the West wall, as the wall
emerges from the earth (numbered 70W - continuing May 25, 1968) and ending with a date in 1975.
Thus the war's beginning and end meet. The war is complete, coming full circle, yet broken by the
earth that bounds the angle's open side and contained within the earth itself.
The first known casualty was Richard B. Fitzgibbon, of North Weymouth, MA. Listed by the U.S.
Department of Defense as having been killed on June 8, 1956. His name is listed on the Wall with
that of his son, Marine Corps Lance Cpl. Richard B. Fitzgibbon III, who was killed on Sept. 7, 1965.
244 soldiers were awarded the Medal of Honor during the Vietnam War; 153 of them are on the Wall.
Beallsville, OH, with a population of 475, lost 6 of her sons. West Virginia had the highest casualty
rate per capita in the nation. There are 711 West Virginians on the Wall.
The Marines of Morenci: They led some of the scrappiest high school football and basketball teams
that the little Arizona copper town of Morenci (pop. 5,058) had ever known and cheered. They enjoyed
roaring beer busts. In quieter moments, they rode horses along the Coronado Trail, stalked deer in the
Apache National Forest. And in the patriotic camaraderie typical of Morenci's mining families, the nine
graduates of Morenci High enlisted as a group in the Marine Corps. Their service began on
Independence Day, 1966. Only 3 returned home.
The Buddies of Midvale: LeRoy Tafoya, Jimmy Martinez, Tom Gonzales were all boyhood friends and
lived on three consecutive streets in Midvale, Utah, on Fifth, Sixth and Seventh Avenues. They lived
only a few yards apart. They played ball at the adjacent sandlot ball field. And they all went to Vietnam.
In a span of 16 dark days in late 1967, all three would be killed.
The most casualty deaths for a single day was on January 31, 1968 ~ 245 deaths. The most casualty
deaths for a single month was May 1968 - 2,415 casualties were incurred.
Most Americans who read this will only see the numbers that the Vietnam War created. To those of us
who survived the war, and to the families of those who did not, we see the faces, we feel the pain that
these numbers created. We are, until we too pass away, haunted with these numbers, because they
were our friends, fathers, husbands, wives, sons and daughters.
There are no noble wars, just noble warriors.