‘The Moving Wall’ comes to Central Texas

‘The Moving Wall’ Vietnam Veterans Memorial will be on display in Central Texas from Oct. 18-22 at the Eastlawn Memorial Park in Early. The Moving Wall is a half-size replica of the Washington, DC Vietnam Veterans Memorial and has been touring the country for more than 20 years. The Moving Wall was created by John Devitt, a Vietnam veteran, who attended the dedication of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington, DC in 1982. Because of the powerful encounter he had at ‘The Wall,’ he vowed to share that experience with those who did not have the opportunity to go to Washington. John Devitt and other Vietnam veteran volunteers built The Moving Wall. It went on display for the first time in Tyler in October of 1984. Two structures of The Moving Wall now travel the USA from April through November, spending about a week at each site. The memorial is 252.83 feet long and has 58,253 names listed on the panels. Of those listed, 1,300 are still unaccounted for Prisoners of War (POWs) and Missing in Action (MIAs). Eight women and 16 military chaplains are also listed. The Moving Wall was invited to be on display in Central Texas by Billy Murphey, of the Pecan Valley Detachment of the Marine Corps League in Brownwood. The Moving Wall provides the opportunity for many to pay tribute and honor to Vietnam Veterans who made the ultimate sacrifice and to those who served and returned home. It is also a powerful educational tool, bringing a significant piece of our nation’s history into reality for students of all ages. The Moving Wall will arrive in Early Wednesday, Oct. 17, and will be assembled entirely by volunteers. Viewing of the Wall begins at sunrise Thursday, Oct. 18 and will be open for 24 hours until Monday, Oct. 22 at 4 p.m. The opening ceremony will be held Friday, Oct. 19 from 10-11a.m. The honored guest speaker for the ceremony is Marine Col. Thomas Hobbs, a Vietnam veteran with multiple awards including a Silver Star, Bronze Star with combat V, Legion of Merit and others. The ceremony will close with a fly over by the 301st Fighter Wing ‘Fightin’ Spades.’ Other ceremonies include a POW/MIA ceremony Saturday, Oct. 20 at 10 a.m. and a candlelight ceremony Sunday, Oct. 21 at 7:30 p.m. There is no charge to visit The Moving Wall, and rubbings are welcome. For more information, please visit the Brownwood Area Chamber of Commerce Web site at www.brownwoodchamber.orgor 325-646-0335. To learn more about The Moving Wall, visit www.themovingwall.org.

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