Vietnam Memorial “Moving Wall” Draws Thousands to Wareham

WAREHAM – More than two thousand people turned up on Thursday for the official opening of the “Moving Wall” Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Wareham, and organizers expect many more to stop by before the exhibit leaves town on Monday.

The Veterans Council and the Friends of the Veterans Council have been raising money to host the Vietnam War Memorial for a year.

The wall is a half-sized replica of the Vietnam War Veterans Memorial in Washington, D.C.

Vietnam veteran Paul Sullivan and his wife Beverly came down from Carver on Thursday, for the opening ceremonies and again yesterday. The couple said that they were there to represent Marine Corps League Detachment #1306 out of Plymouth, Paul says that the wall just draws him in.

“I’ve been down to Washington DC on a few occasions, and it’s still there in my heart and I have to go see it every time it goes out in this moving wall type thing. It’s enough to be the same, for me.”

The monument contains the names of more than 50,000 American service personnel who died in or because of their service, during the Vietnam War in the 1960s and 70s.

Asked if he was surprised at the stunning opening ceremony turnout, Mr. Sullivan said that he wasn’t, “I doesn’t surprise me at all, and it’s a holy place. I guess I can’t even explain it it’s in my heart, it’s a part of me and I believe it was a part of everyone who came by last night. It was one heck of a ceremony across the board.”

There will another ceremony tonight at 7 p.m. and on Sunday at noon and 2 p.m.

They will include commemorations for those who lost a loved one in the war, speeches from military leaders and a bagpipe and rifle salute.

“I’m a Vietnam Veteran and there’s a couple of people that I served with over in Vietnam up on that wall and I just wanted to find them,” said David Gibbs of Wareham, who was out at the wall yesterday, “I think it’s wonderful here in Wareham, just to have this opportunity means a lot and to the citizens around New England or whoever can get down this way, it’s just really nice.”

The wall is 253 feet long and is composed of 74 aluminum panels.

It will be exhibited at the Anderson Track adjacent to Wareham Middle School on Viking Drive until Monday.


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