Vietnam memorial turns 25 next week

Little-known fact: It takes 65 hours to recite aloud the more than 58,000 names of the fallen inscribed on the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington.

A reading of those names by 2,000 volunteers will highlight the 25th anniversary of the black-granite wall beginning Wednesday from 4 p.m. to midnight, and again for 19 hours a day Thursday through Saturday. Gen. Colin Powell is scheduled to speak at the main event on Veterans Day, Nov. 11.

For the first time, organizers will stage a poetry and music tribute on the East Knoll near the wall, on Tuesday, performed by "people who've been inspired by the wall," says Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund spokeswoman Lisa Gough.