The Moving Vietnam Memorial Wall
A moving memorial honoring our Vietnam veterans has been traveling across America for decades. Now a replica of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington, D.C., known as the moving Vietnam Veterans Memorial Wall, has finally made its way to Mississippi: Diamondhead to be exact.
News 25’s Caroline Eaker gives up the first look at the memorial as it is being set up. It is open to the public until Monday, October 30th.
This replica of the Washington, D.C. Vietnam Veterans Memorial is half the size, but its impact is still as strong, especially for Vietnam veterans like David Motz. “When we can honor the 58,317 guys who are on this wall. I am sorry, I just get emotional, but when we can pay our respects to these fellas that can’t live a life like we do anymore, it’s very important for me to honor them.”
This wall invokes emotion in all Vietnam veterans. Some in Diamondhead even have a personal connection. Veteran Jerry Peppenger said, “This wall represents a lot of feelings. The first time I saw it was in Washington, D.C. and I didn’t think it would bother me until I saw one of my classmates on the wall and that’s when it kind of gets you right in the throat and it may do it again. I am trying not to think too much about it, but I do know a couple of people on there.”
Cadets from the Hancock High School JROTC program helped piece together portions of the wall Thursday and even though the moving wall will only stand in Diamondhead for five days, veterans hope its influence will leave a lasting impression on those young cadets. “I try to remind them of what the importance of being in the military and the fact that their name could someday come up and be on some other wall somewhere and they got to follow orders and do the best that they know how to do and not watch a lot of TV shows,” said Motz.
The wall is making its first stop in Mississippi. It’s a reflection of our nation’s history and the men and women who paid the ultimate sacrifice for the freedoms we Americans enjoy today. Veteran Don Ball said, “A lot of people are going to come to this wall from all around this region to pay respects to their loved ones whose names are on here.”