Vietnam Veterans Memorial Wall etchings headed to homes of loved ones, with the help of NewDay USA volunteers

NewDay workers converged with paper and pencils in hand, making precious remembrances for friends and families of fallen.

Washington, DC – As the sun rose Saturday over a steamy Washington, DC, NewDay USA employees gathered at the Vietnam Memorial Wall. Their mission: to help make sure loved ones of the fallen are able to experience the wall long-distance.

Making etchings of names by rubbing a charcoal pencil over paper on top of the engraving has become a traditional offering at the wall. But the National Park Service needs volunteers to meet the growing need. NewDay helped out in the wee hours before the park officially opened, competing with another group of volunteers who were washing it.

“We were hurrying to get out of their way,” explained NewDay Vice President for Credit, Tina Cumbie. “I was so focused on making the etching really nice, I didn’t even really think about anything else.”

Cumbie says it was a fun experience because the ranger told the group so much about the history of the memorial. She was especially interested in the symbolism of the wall’s center as a place of healing.

Volunteer captain Paolo Tayag brought his young son along to help with the effort, then took a tour of the rest of the monuments.

“I think it was really meaningful for the employees to read those names,” commented Tayag, Assistant Vice President for Human Resources.

NewDay employees also frequently volunteer to wash and clean up the area around the memorial. They say it’s a way of giving back and relating to the veterans they speak to on the phone each day at work.

Watch NewDay workers make the mementos