04/30/07 — Vietnam memorial coming to Warsaw

View Archive

Vietnam memorial coming to Warsaw

By Andrew Bell
Published in News on April 30, 2007 1:52 PM

WARSAW -- From the first American footsteps onto Vietnamese soil to the fall of Saigon, 58,226 soldiers were declared dead or missing in action during the Vietnam War.

The name of every soldier, sailor, Marine and airman who was killed or missing in action will be read next week when "The Wall That Heals," a mobile, half-sized replica of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington, D.C., stops in the Duplin County town of Warsaw from Thursday through Sunday.

The memorial wall was first unveiled on Veterans Day in 1996 thanks to the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund. Since its creation more than a decade ago, the wall has stopped in hundreds of cities and towns across the country.

The Veterans of Foreign Wars Post No. 9810, along with the Warsaw Chamber of Commerce, are asking for volunteers to help read the names of those who lost their lives during the conflict and to help visitors locate names on the wall.

The opening ceremony will begin at 9 a.m. Thursday in Warsaw's Veterans Park. From that moment, the wall will be open to the public 24 hours a day until it is taken down on Monday, Warsaw Chamber of Commerce Director Linda Kitchin said.

Anyone who would like to help erect the wall is asked to convene at Veterans Park on Wednesday. The following day, town officials are asking for more volunteers who would be willing to help read the names of soldiers 15 minutes at a time.

While people visit the wall, organizers are also asking for volunteer guides who will use on-site computers to find where a person's name is located.

Those shifts are available daily from 8 a.m. to noon, 1-5 p.m. and 6-9 p.m.

Even if residents are unable to volunteer their time, Mrs. Kitchin said she asks people to take the time to visit the wall and show their gratitude to the men and women who gave everything for their country during the eight-year conflict.

The names of 30 men from Wayne County who lost their lives in the war are listed on the wall.

For more information on how to volunteer, call the Warsaw Chamber of Commerce at (910) 293-7814.