WASHINGTON (AP) _ Engravers began etching eight more names on the black marble panels of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial on Thursday.
The names are those of Americans who died from their Vietnam War wounds after they left the military, said Jan Scruggs, president and founder of the memorial.
The addition, the seventh since the memorial was dedicated in 1982, brings to 58,191 the number of names on the memorial, each representing an American killed or missing in the Southeast Asia conflict.
In another change, the cross symbol next to eight names already on the wall will be changed to a diamond, signifying an official change in status from missing to killed in action.
Scruggs said he hoped President Clinton would visit the memorial, especially as he considers sending American troops to Bosnia.
″It’s very important that America understand the cost of war, and the young lives that will never be lived to their fullest. Every president of the United States should come to the memorial,″ Scruggs said.
Those whose names were added: James Byszek, North Brookfield, Mass.; Charles Colleps, Hutchins, Texas; F. Scott Crismon, Denver Colo.; Rubert Humphries, Paducah, Ky.; Donald Kramer, Kenton, Ohio; Donald Maki, Hutchinson, Minn.; Michael Rowcroft, Roosevelt, N.Y., and Mateo Sabog, Waipahu, Hawaii.
Additions and other changes to the list must meet Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund criteria and be certified by the Department of Defense.
The engraving process will be completed in time for Memorial Day ceremonies at the Wall in honor of the eight servicemen and their families.