On Oct 7-12, The Moving Wall, a half size replica of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial, will be on display in Konahete Park in Murphy, North Carolina. For 20 years, this memorial has toured the US with the mission set forth on the Moving Wall website:
"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
I visited the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington DC for the first time with Murphy Middle School's Beta Club 2 years ago on a cold, rainy night in April. For years, I'd heard of the impact that wall had on visitors, with its endless parade of name after name, each one a beloved son, brother, father, friend. But walking the path and seeing the rows of names grow taller than my head bought back memories of the pain and anger our country suffered during that conflict.
Over 58,000 names are inscribed on the Wall, which will be open 24 hours a day after setup on Thursday October 8 until noon on Monday October 12. Volunteers will be available to help visitors find names on the wall and answer questions during this time according to Tom Valenty a Vietnam veteran with the US Marine Corps League Detachment 1011, which sponsored bringing the Wall to Cherokee County.
You can read the experiences of some of the volunteers over the years in "I Came To See My Son's Name" by Jim Schuekler and "A Day in the Life of A Volunteer" by Nancy Smoyer.
The special events scheduled include:
Friday October 9 - Students Day includes school field trips to the wall and local high school bands performing
Saturday October 10 - Opening Ceremonies at noon with guest speakers and a reading of the names of Cherokee County residents killed and missing in action. There will also be a ceremony honoring those killed in World War 2, Korea, Desert Storm and the war on terror.
Let us never forget...