A Visit From The Vietnam Veteran's Moving Wall
Remembering The Vietnam Hero's
Thursday evening I headed out to pick up a few groceries in the town of Wilmington, Massachusetts, the town where I grew up. It is not where I live now but I live nearby and still love to shop there and occassionally stop to visit or run into friends of my childhood. I also love to pass through my old neighborhood and check out the house that I grew up and lived in for 18 years. I have many memories there and do appreciate the now owners who keep it beautiful for my weekly enjoyment.
As I passed by the Wilmington Town Common something was going on that at first I couldn't identify but soon realized that the Vietnam Veteran's Moving Wall had come to pay a visit to my little home town.
Sept 18 - 22, 2008
"In honor of the men and women of the United States Armed Forces who served in the Vietnam War. The names of those who gave their lives and of those who remain missing are inscribed in the order they were taken from us."
Preamble of the Vietman Veterans Memorial
What is the Moving Wall?
"The Moving Wall" is a half-size replica of the memorial in Washington, DC. It has been travelling around the country for more than twenty years. Its first display was in October of 1984 in Tyler, Texas. It travels the USA from April through November and spends up to one week at each of its visiting sites.
Since the original Moving Wall made its first appearance in Tyler, Texas, it and its two counterparts have been refurbished. Currently, each measures 250 feet long, 4 feet tall at each end and six feet tall in the center. Each is made of aluminum with the 58,175 names of the American dead in Vietnam silk-screened upon black panels, which are supported by metal braces driven into the ground. All told, these sheetmetal replicas cost about $60,000 each, the money raised through donations.
But the emotional price that came with building them was probably much higher.
The Moving Wall has often been described as one of the most visited memorial in the country. Many people say their first encounter in viewing The Wall is an emotional experience. This was true for me too as I witnessed a man in front of me saying to his son, "this was my Uncle Robert". He proceeded to kneel down and say a prayer. I silently said one with him! That was so sad!
In Loving Memory from Wilmington, MA
John Joseph Fullerton
Robert Warren Parent
Richard William Welch
John Allen Rich