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Vietnam Veterans Memorial Expansion Gets Approval

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A new display at the Vietnam Memorial would put faces to the names of the servicemembers killed in batle.
VVMF and Ralph Applebaum Associates
A new display at the Vietnam Memorial would put faces to the names of the servicemembers killed in batle.

An education center planned for the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington has received preliminary approval for construction of an underground facility on the National Mall.

The proposed center would include exhibits, a bookstore and restrooms. Organizers say it will include a timeline of U.S. military history from Bunker Hill to the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq.

On July 12, the National Capital Planning Commission granted preliminary approval for the two-level structure that will be on the northern grounds of the Lincoln Memorial.

Jan Scruggs, president of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund, says the group plans to break ground for the facility in November with the goal of opening the center in 2014 for troops returning from Afghanistan.

""When you go in there, you are going to see a celebration of service," says Scruggs. "You'll see the photographs of the people who gave their lives in Vietnam. And every hour you'll see the guys and women from Iraq and Afghanistan."

The group must raise about $40 million to complete the $85 million project.

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