The Moving Wall is an inspirational experience
The exact replica of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial, “The Moving Wall” is coming to Rugby. It will be displayed on the Rugby High School baseball field from Thursday, Aug. 4 – Sunday, Aug. 7. It will be taken down and moved on Monday.
A program of honor and remembrance will be held as an opening ceremony at 7 p.m. on Thursday, August 4. A candlelight ceremony will be held on Saturday, Aug. 6, at 8 p.m. and a closing ceremony on Sunday, Aug. 7, at 8 p.m.
The memorial is sponsored by the Rugby Clarence Larson Post #23 and local Vietnam veterans. It has been displayed in over 1,235 communities across the country since it was first displayed on October 15, 1984 in Tyler, Texas.
Three Vietnam soldiers killed in action were from Pierce County. They are Major Virgil Greany, PFC. Donald Soby, and Sp. 4 David DePriest. In nearby Rolette, two soldiers lost their lives while defending their country in Vietnam. They are YN2 Joel Ellingson and Sgt. Arlan Gable. All five names are featured on The Moving Wall just as they are in Washington, DC at the Vietnam Veterans Memorial.
The overall length of The Moving Wall is 253′, which is slightly longer than half the length of the Memorial in Washington, DC. whose length is 493.5 feet. It is composed of 74 separate frames, seventy frames contain two silk-screened. The tallest panels have 137 lines of names, while the shortest panels at each end of the Wall have only one line. At the vertex of the Moving Wall, where the two walls join at an angle, the panels are six feet in height.
The artifacts, which people leave just as they have done in Washington, DC. since the beginning, are collected, boxed and marked at each location then taken back to White Pine, Michigan and stored. A museum will be built and all the artifacts that have been left at The Moving Wall will be displayed.
Three Vietnam veterans, John Devitt, Gerry Haver and Norris Shears did the actual construction and silk-screening of names. It took nearly two years to complete. Devitt has made The Moving Wall his life work and drives the replica to its various destinations across the country.
Like the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington, The Moving Wall has been paid for by contributions from the public. Devitt, Haver and Shears pooled their resources of personal funds which totaled barely $2,500 and obtained credit to create the project, promising to make good on any debts.
One of the inscriptions on The Moving Wall reads: “Our Nation honors the courage, sacrifice and devotion to duty and country of its Vietnam veterans. This memorial was built with private contributions from the American people. November 11, 1982.”
(Information provided by The Moving Wall Handbook.)
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