Undoubtedly, there are veterans of the Vietnam War who wondered for years why the The Vietnam Moving Wall had not come to Washington. It has taken about 30 years, but the Moving Wall will be on display in September at the fairgrounds in Washington. The exact dates are Sept. 19-23.
The Moving Wall is a replica, although smaller, of the Vietnam War Veterans Memorial in Washington, D.C. It has the names of 58,282 members of the military who made the supreme sacrifice during the long war, and the names of those American personnel listed as missing in action. Twenty of the names are from this area.
Our involvement in Vietnam in the fight against communist forces from North Vietnam, aided by the Soviet Union and China, began in the early 1960s and ended with the cease-fire in 1973. There was a draft in the United States during the war period, but it was a lottery and many deferments were given, especially for the young men in college and graduate schools. It was a very unpopular war, with the draft being one of the reasons.
At one time we had a half million troops engaged in the war. There were many bloody battles. Casualties were high. Since it was an unpopular war, the men and women who served were not treated well by many of their fellow countrymen. It was the first war in which our military personnel were not treated with respect. That attitude has changed for the better in the ensuing years. It was an era when the spread of communism was feared. After the cease-fire the entire country of Vietnam fell to the communists. However, since that time there has been no major communist aggression in that part of the world.
The men and women who served answered their country’s call and served honorably. It is fitting that there is a Vietnam Memorial in our nation’s capital and to have The Moving Wall. It really pays tribute to all Vietnam veterans.
The Friends of Vietnam Veterans, a local volunteer group, is bringing the Wall here at a cost of around $30,000. Donations may be made to the not-for-profit group by mailing a gift to Friends of Vietnam Veterans, P. O. Box 1225, Washington, MO 63090. Volunteers are needed to assist when the Wall is here. A meeting of all volunteers is scheduled for Wednesday, Aug. 28, at 7 p.m. at VFW Post 2661, 813 Jefferson St. in Washington.
We all need to support this tribute to our Vietnam veterans.