Washington D.C.: GovernmentCIO is proud to partner with the Department of Veteran Affairs to release Veterans Legacy Memorial (VLM) Version 8.0 ahead of Memorial Day.
VLM is a publicly available interactive online memorialization platform for the National Cemetery Administration to honor the service and sacrifice the millions interred or inurned at VA national cemeteries. Since the program launched last May, the public has contributed over 17,000 tributes, and there are 1,200 registered member users to date.
Some of the new features introduced in Version 8.0 include the ability for all users to upload tributes to veterans, such as images, historical documents, and service milestones. Users can see coordinates, maps, and marker images. They can also follow a veteran on the platform, meaning they will receive emailed updates about profile page changes.
“When a veteran passes, what we don’t want to happen is for their story to be forgotten or their name to not be spoken anymore,” said NCA Digital Services Officer James LaPaglia in a recent VA podcast episode about VLM. “VLM was designed and launched to preserve the legacies of veterans so that family members and survivors can continue to tell their story.”
Deployment of Version 8.0 began May 20, 2021 and is now fully available for public use.
From its inception, GovernmentCIO has led the building, implementation, and maintenance of VLM for NCA, ensuring survivors and family members have access to the platform to grieve and memorialize veterans digitally. Students, teachers, and researchers can also share historical and educational information about veterans and the cemeteries themselves, some of which date back to the Civil War.
In addition to integrating the new features, GovernmentCIO helped VA revamp VLM with an underlying new code stack and move to a serverless architecture. The company also updated the administrator application to support the new features. The application is where content is moderated, profiles and users are locked/unlocked, and reports are generated.
“It’s not often one has the opportunity to work on a program that touches the very heart of who we are as individuals. Our team comprises dedicated, passionate, diligent professionals who take tremendous personal pride in delivering VLM. We too, after all, have veteran family, friends, and loved ones whose memory we wish to keep alive,” said Rosemary Holly, GovernmentCIO’s VLM program manager.
For Jim Brabston, GovernmentCIO CEO, this program has special meaning.
“Having a number of my relatives interred at VA national cemeteries, including my father-in-law at Arlington, I am extremely proud that GovernmentCIO has been entrusted with this important piece of work,” Brabston said.
In the lead up to Memorial Day, VA Secretary Denis McDonough underscored the value and mission of VLM in highlighting the importance of honoring those who have fallen and providing outlets for their loved ones to grieve.
“We can never forget these heroes nor the families who continue to grieve the loss of their mother, father, son, daughter, sister, or brother who stood in the gap for each of us to maintain the very democracy that we are able to treasure every day,” McDonough said in a VA video message.