Sunday, June 21, 2009

"The Moving Wall" Stops in Norwich

Since June 5th, Norwich has been celebrating its Semiseptcentennial - 350th birthday - with various and assorted tours, a reenactment of the deed signing between the Colonists and the Mohegans, Riverfest with dragon boat races, a kids trout fishing derby and a whole host of other events.

The big event for this weekend was the arrival and display of the traveling Vietnam Wall Memorial which was set up at Howard T. Brown Park near the marina. "The Moving Wall" is a 3/5th scale of the Vietnam Memorial in Washington DC that stands six feet tall at the center and covers almost 300 feet from end to end which has been touring the country for more than twenty years. The Wall's visit to Norwich was sponsored by Norwich VFW Post 594 and it was quite the site to see.

After Amanda's party last night, Amy and I took the girls down to Howard T. Brown Park to look at The Wall and take some pictures while reflecting upon all of the lives lost not just in Vietnam but throughout America's history as there were also displays from the Korean War, the Wars in Irag and Afghastan, and a 911 tribute.

We stopped by briefly again today so that Amy could look up the name of a friend amongst the dogtags of those killed in action in Iraq. The stop was unplanned so I didn't have my camera with me but I did have my trusty cellphone to capture a few images under the cloudy skies.

With over 58,000 names on The Wall I am always very thankful that my Dad's name is not among them though it very well could have been as he was injured during a bombing raid in Danang, Vietnam during his tour there. Instead he came home with the shrapnel they'd removed from his leg as well as a Bronze Star and Purple Heart Medal. It's my understanding that he would have been just as happy to not have any of the three but he served proudly in the United States Air Force for over 20 years serving during both the Korean and Vietnam Wars and I was always proud of him.

No doubt there are families standing proudly behind all of those 58,000+ names and missing them every single day; for that reason I set the following video to a song from the Statler Brothers - More Than a Name on a Wall. Don't forget to thank a veteran next time you see one.


  1. I've never heard of the Traveling Vietnam War Memorial - it's a wonderful tribute to those whose names it bears.

  2. we have seen both. the traveling wall, although wonderful, is nothing like the real one, it lacks the magnitude of the finality of it all somehow. but i am thankful for the traveling wall too. i just wish everyone could go to washington...

    smiles, bee

  3. I'll never forget my visit to the wall in DC
    thanks for sharing this

  4. It seems that the wall makes you look hard to find names - with the enormous list of victims, the sheer looking has to make one ponder...Ponder the lives lost and families broken. We tried to maintain a free South. 'Uncle Ho' was truly a SOB, most of those in the South that didn't want to live under the North. We tried to keep a free country, and the shame is the number of South Vietnamese who died in those infamous 'Reeducation Camps', or risking a treacherous sea crossing to get away.

    We tried so hard, and we lost so many. Yet the USA made the efforts. A true shame...

  5. Proud to have had the honor of doing the EMS stand-by on Friday night for that event. The Wall is still very touching - even in 3/5 scale. The messages (yes, there is definately more than one way to "view" this monument) are timeless, and so very important to remember. Good job w/the pics, Linda...but Amy's made me cry!

  6. What a great post about your city's big celebration and especially for posting that video to such appropriate song.
    Our little village here lost one of its "sons" in Vietnam -a young man about 4 years younger than me, serving as a medic, who gave his life there. He was the oldest of ten children and he and everyone one of his siblings was, at one time or another, our paperboy. A darned good kid he was -just as nice as the day is long.
    Thanks for a reminder that we should never forget those who sacrificed so much for all of us.

  7. My uncle came back safe and whole, and I'm thankful for that every day.

  8. Many years ago when I was living in Tennessee the wall came there. I was very moved at the time. I hvae been wanting to go to DC for awhile to see the real one, but just hate the thought of facing all the traffic headaches involved in going to DC. It is bad enough to take the bi-pass around when we travel from our area to Gettysburg.
    Seeing the wall however is on my list of things to do. Thanks for posting the photos as a reminder for people that this is an inportant part of our history

  9. What an awesome sight to see. Thanks for sharing the photos and the story.

  10. Great post, Linda. I've seen the traveling wall, but have yet to go to see the real one in D.C.

    No one spoke above a whisper at the traveling wall, I imagine it was the same in Norwich.

    I'd also love to see the WWII Memorial in Washington. Some day..

  11. I saw this wall in West Palm Beach many years ago, that is when I knew I had to go to DC and visit my friends.

  12. The traveling wall gives so many people the opportunity to visit that could not make the trip to WDC.

    Each of the war memorials were very moving to see in person. We were at the Vietnam Memorial at dusk...and the lit candles added to the impact.

    I was especially moved by the Korean Memorial too.

    I'm glad you took the time...and took the girls to see the exhibit.

  13. The wall came to Coventry a few years back and was extremely emotional for me and I don't personally know anyone so I can't imagine how it is for family and friends of those that have fallen in the defense of our country.

  14. Very nice. We saw the memorial in Sandusky Ohio last year.


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