Start with the number: 58,282.
For each one, add two: a mother and a father. Add another two: a brother and a sister. Add eight: aunts, uncles, grandparents, etc. Add friends.
Then for each one add 30, the average size of a Vietnam platoon and that number — 21 million — gives you an idea of the impact of each American death in the Vietnam War.
Each one of the names is inscribed on the Vietnam War Memorial in Washington, D.C., and each one of the names is inscribed on The Moving Wall, a half-sized Vietnam War Memorial that tours the country every year.
This year, this weekend, it’s in Cook County, just off of Exit 39 at the Welcome Center.
“This wall, it means a lot to me,” said Tim Balch at the opening ceremonies. “And the names on the wall mean a lot to me. When they returned home, they didn’t have the parades and accolades we have today. Today, we need to welcome these guys back.”
“We really don’t know (what it was like),” said Major Joseph Barnard, commander for the 38th Rescue Squadron out of Moody. “The horrors of war were sometimes callously forgotten. ... Cook County, this wall and this war was personal for you. ... We are humbled by the sacrifice. We will never forget.”
Although the Moving Wall was just installed on Thursday, thousands of people have already visited it. Some walk right up to the wall; others are more hesitant. John Brisk, a member of the planning committee that has been working to bring the Moving Wall here for the last year and a half, tells a
story of a veteran who came late Thursday night. He stood 20 yards away from the wall — just being in its presence. He left, coming back a couple of hours before sunrise with photos of the friends he lost decades ago. He slowly, achingly, made his way to the wall and found their names.
The names start in the center of the wall with the first casualty, Dale R. Buis, and they wrap back around to the middle with the last casualty, Richard Vande Geer. In this sense, the names never really end and the wall never really ends. Neither does remembering.
The wall is open 24/7 until Sept. 30, when it will be taken down at noon. The evening of September 29, the Wall will be private for Vietnam veterans and Gold Star families from 6-10 p.m.
If you can, go. Start with the middle and work your way around.
Thousands visit miniature version of Vietnam War Memorial
Start with the number: 58,282.
- Local News
City: Most overflows stopped
The City of Valdosta reported Wednesday evening that all manhole overflows resulting from Tuesday’s heavy rains had stopped, with the exception of two.
Signed into law
Gov. Nathan Deal went on a signing tour Wednesday across Georgia, flying into the Valdosta Regional Airport to sign three bills into law.
2 charged in N.C. kidnapping
Two more people were charged in the kidnapping of a North Carolina prosecutor’s father, bringing the number to at least eight people who authorities say were involved in the elaborate plot.
VSU opens spring senior art show Saturday
Several graduating art seniors will present their show this weekend at Valdosta State University.
Sewage problems persist
Early Tuesday morning, Valdosta became saturated when the area received approximately three inches of rain from 4 a.m. to noon. As of 3 p.m. Tuesday, 11 manholes throughout the City of Valdosta have spilled 286,500 gallons of wastewater into local waterways, and this number will continue to rise.
When the curtain lowers this weekend on Valdosta State University Opera’s performance of Henry Purcell’s “Dido and Aeneas,” it will not only mark the end of the music group’s season.
‘If I Were Mayor’ contest essays
If I were mayor, I would do all that I possibly can to make the city of Valdosta marvelous, but I cannot do it on my own. Some things in Valdosta I feel it is necessary to focus on would be our literacy rate, unemployment rate, crime history, and our environment.
Solemn tributes mark Boston Marathon bombing
Survivors, first responders and relatives of those killed in the Boston Marathon bombing marked the anniversary Tuesday with tributes that combined sorrow over the loss of innocent victims with pride over the city’s resilience in the face of a terror attack.
Valdosta Board of Education reviews finances
Valdosta City Schools Board of Education celebrated many successes Monday night, discussed budget information and heard an announcement of intent from a hopeful charter school.
Dancing with Valdosta Stars raises scholarship money
Valdosta State University Music and Theatre & Dance’s Third Annual Dancing with the Stars of Valdosta presented a fine dance show this past weekend.
- More Local News Headlines
- City: Most overflows stopped