Closing Ceremony Held for ‘Moving Wall’ in Wareham

WAREHAM – A closing ceremony was held Monday during the “Moving Wall’s” final day in Wareham.

The half-sized replica of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington D.C. drew thousands of visitors since it arrived last Thursday.

Rear Admiral Richard Gurnon, the former president of Massachusetts Maritime Academy, says the memorial moves everyone who visits it.

“The Vietnam War took a lot of young people,” Gurnon said. “I mean 58,000 young people. I think the average age was 20. That’s a sin and I hope it never happens again.”

Gurnon spoke about community during the ceremony.

“The lesson is that we healed. We healed from the 60s and 70s – the most bitter war I think that we’ve fought and we can heal again,” Gurnon said. “It takes time. It takes love. It takes patience and it takes hard work.”

Gurnon said he remembers when the memorial was dedicated in Washington and the turmoil that went on with people saying it did not honor those who died.

“Now it has truly moved anyone who comes to see it,” he said. “Even at half-scale, you see the building crescendo of the wall and how it took lives until the very end.”

The “Moving Wall” is 253 feet long and includes the names of all the American military personnel who died during the Vietnam War during the 1960s and 1970s.

The Veterans Council and the Friends of the Veterans Council raised money for a year to bring the “Moving Wall” to Wareham.

The wall now heads to Evendale, Ohio.

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