Hampton VA Medical Center
American Legion hosts Vietnam Veteran Wall
"IN HONOR OF THE MEN AND WOMEN OF THE ARMED FORCES OF THE UNITED STATES 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 Vietnam Veterans Memorial
Harbinger, NC ~ Thoughts of patriotism and solemn memories were evident when American Legion Post 80 brought a piece of American history to the local Harbinger, N.C., community. Vietnam Veterans, students from local schools, families and friends came to South Shores Community Park to pay respects to the thousands of Veterans whose names are engraved on the Vietnam Veterans Moving Wall, a replica of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington, D.C.
"The Moving Wall" is the half-sized replica of the Washington Memorial and has been touring the country for more than 20 years. When John Devitt attended the 1982 dedication of the original Wall in Washington, he said he felt the positive power of The Wall. According to www.themovingwall.org, Devitt vowed to share that experience with those who don’t have the opportunity to go to Washington, DC, and visit the monument in person.
Eighth-grade students from Moyock Middle School slowly followed the red carpet as they moved alongside the memorial. Some students reached out to touch the etched names, others felt the smooth marble-like surface to make a connection.
“We wanted to give them some culture and introduce them to our history,” said Lisa Lane, a Moyock social studies teacher. “Students are excited to learn and see a part of America’s history from the Vietnam Era. It’s part of the eighth-grade social studies curriculum.”
The Moving Wall first went on display in Tyler, Texas, in October 1984. Two structures of The Moving Wall now travel the United States from April through November, spending about a week at each location. The Moving Wall was brought to South Shores Community Park on Oct. 14 and remained on public display through Oct. 18. It was the last stop for the traveling monument before making the trip back to its home in White Pine, Minn.
“Around 5,000 visitors have been here to see the wall,” said Bob Kohler, commander of American Legion Post 80, located in Coinjock, N.C., whose organization was co-sponsoring the event. “The parking lot has been full almost the entire time.”
Kohler explained that the display came in on a trailer packed in crates the morning of Oct. 14 when 10 young U.S. Marines from Chesapeake, N.C., volunteered to piece it together. He said the entire setup took the Marines about two hours to complete.
Any organization or group of individuals interested in having The Moving Wall visit their area and is willing to do the work to make the local arrangements should contact www.themovingwall.org for details.