05/02/07 — Volunteers needed to read names at memorial

View Archive

Volunteers needed to read names at memorial

By Andrew Bell
Published in News on May 2, 2007 1:58 PM

With more than 58,000 names to read over a four-day span, the Warsaw Chamber of Commerce and Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 9810 are seeking more volunteers when "The Wall That Heals" comes to town Thursday.

"The Wall That Heals" is a mobile, half-sized replica of the Vietnam Veterans National Memorial in Washington, D.C., that names every soldier, sailor, Marine and airman who was killed or labeled missing in action during the Vietnam War.

The memorial wall was first unveiled on Veterans Day in 1996 thanks to the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund. In the wall's nearly 10-year history, only two towns out of hundreds that have hosted the wall have been able to name every person listed.

Warsaw resident Carlton Reiner hopes that Warsaw will become the third. But it's not for the recognition Warsaw would receive. Instead, it's for the people named on the wall.

"This is not just to say we did it. We want to recognize everyone who sacrificed their life," Reiner said.

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 Monday.

After the opening ceremony, volunteers will read names at 15-minute intervals. Reiner said there are enough volunteers for Thursday and most of Friday, but more are needed throughout the weekend.

Readers will be needed from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Saturday and throughout the day Sunday until the closing ceremony at 6 p.m., Reiner said.

Guides will also be needed on both days. Those volunteers will be asked to stand near a computer that travels with the wall and help visitors find a listed name on the memorial.

Anyone who wants to read names this weekend can call Carlton Reiner at 910-285-4392 or Delilah Gones at 910-289-4390. Anyone who would like to be a guide can call Warsaw Chamber of Commerce director Linda Kitchin at 910-293-7804.