Back in June, the Vietnam Traveling Memorial Wall made an appearance in Clifton Park, New York. I took the short drive north to embrace and snap some pictures of the memorial. But in doing so I wasn’t aware of the emotions that it’d bring forth.
The Traveling Wall is a 3/5 scale of the Vietnam Memorial in Washington, D.C. It stands six feet tall and spans 300 feet from one end to the other. It’s intentions on its creation is to help heal, rekindle friendships and allow people the opportunity to view the wall who can’t make it to Washington.
The wall is a list of names of those who served in the Vietnam War and lives were cut short. While I had family members involved in this military conflict none of note are listed.
I’ve never attended the original wall in Washington, D.C. but I’ve heard the stories as well as video and pictures of it. This one, while it’s just a smaller version it still shook me. To see veterans of this war and other wars touring this wall and seeing them viewing friends, family and people that they have never met yet went through the same events – it’s powerful.
As you see in the main picture I shared on top of this post, I followed an older gentlemen wearing a USMC jacket. This wasn’t on purpose, as it just happened to work out that way. Yet, it made the entire venture to viewing this wall so much more important. Not only did it showcase that this wall, that the names on this wall meant something that there’s actually people still alive who could have made that list.
Those volunteering with the wall were on hand to help those searching for the family members names. There were also those on hand reading the names of those on the wall. You were also able to obtain a piece of paper and pencil so you can scratch a name off and bring it home for a keepsake.
This Traveling wall is just one of numerous versions which venture around the country bringing history and intending to help. This one returns to my area, the Albany area, in September for a two separate appearances one at the Fulton-Montgomery Community College in Johnstown and the other will be at the Washington Park. These events are September 8th to September 11th and September 14th to September 19th.
For more information on this wall please visit their website The Traveling Wall.
Yet as I mentioned there is other walls, for instance today and until Sunday the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund will be in Princetown, New York. This wall is quite similar to the other one, it’s a replica with the same number of names on it. Which with both of these are 58,307 names.
I plan on visiting that one and taking pictures just like the first. Speaking of pictures, you can check out the pictures I took from the first wall by visiting my Flickr page.