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Carroll County may be among the 40 or so communities nationwide selected to host a traveling replica of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial next spring.
Judge-Executive Harold “Shorty” Tomlinson made this announcement during the Nov. 10 Fiscal Court meeting.
“The Moving Wall” is the half-size replica of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington, D.C. Three replica exhibits have been touring the country for more than two decades, according to the Web site www.themovingwall.org.Two structures of The Moving Wall now travel throughout the United States from April through November, spending about a week at each site. A third structure has been retired.
“We tentatively have it set up to be here in May,” Tomlinson said. “It looks very favorable at this point. A lot of communities would certainly like to have this. Non-profit organizations can apply to get it. There’s a long waiting list.”
A sponsor can be any organization or group of individuals that wants The Moving Wall to visit their area and is willing to do the work to make the local arrangements. Sponsors are frequently civic groups, school, or veterans’ organizations. Sponsoring normally requires months of planning by dozens of local volunteers.
Tomlinson said he plans to approach the Carroll County Tobacco Festival Committee to see if they have an interest in being the non-profit entity to sponsor the exhibit. The fee to sponsor the exhibit is around $4,500 for a non-profit organization.
The display fees are used solely for the operating expenses of the Memorial Fund, according to the Web site. The Moving Wall was not created to be a “fundraising device.” It is expressly understood that any and all moneys raised for the display of the exhibit will only be used to pay expenses directly related to the display of the replica.
The Moving Wall is made of aluminum panels mounted to aluminum framing and supported with steel tubular bracing. It stands 6-ft tall at the center and gradually tapers to 4-ft panels at each end. Each wall of the two that make up one structure is 126.2 ft in length, for a total length of 252.4 ft., or slightly less than the length of a football field.
Like the full-size original in Washington, D.C., the traveling memorial contains the names of the more than 58,000 Americans who gave their lives in the Vietnam War.
“I’d like to see us put it out by the park, in that field between the park and the Armory across from Craig’s Do-It Center,” Tomlinson said. “I’ve spoken to the people at the Armory out there. I’m sure we could get a lot of volunteer help.”
The Moving Wall has been displayed in several Kentucky communities in years past, Louisville, Frankfort and Florence being the closest exhibit locations to Carrollton. It was on display last month in Clarksville, Ind.
“This may be the only chance some veterans will have to get to see that wall,” Tomlinson said. “It would be a great tribute to our veterans—especially our Vietnam veterans. We are tentatively scheduled to have it arrive here May 19. It would be on display May 20-24, right before Memorial Day weekend. We’re working very hard to make that a reality.”
Other Veterans’ Issues
Tomlinson cited the American Legion’s recent recognition of area veterans of the Korean War as a ceremony that was long overdue. More than 88,000 Kentuckians served in the U.S. military during that war, he said.
“Since that ceremony I’ve had several calls from people who thought they had family members who served in that war,” Tomlinson said. “I tell each one to call the Legion and give them the name and numbers from their family member’s discharge papers. I believe they will try to do it again for any of those who might have missed it this time.”
On other veterans-related note, Tomlinson said he has “heard very positive response to the new VA clinic here.”