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Vietnam Moving Wall coming to Wellington July 11-15

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    Vietnam Veterans Don Attie, left, and Tom Elbert salute the flag during opening ceremonies of the Vietnam Moving Wall on May 2, 2009, at Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 1079 in Elyria.

    STEVE MANHEIM / CHRONICLE FILE

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WELLINGTON — What may become known as the largest undertaking in recent Wellington history — the Vietnam Moving Wall is coming to the village July 11-15 through the efforts of Wellington Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 6941.

The idea to bring the Moving Wall to Wellington is credited to Fran Brooks, president of the Wellington VFW Auxiliary.

“I had seen a poster about the Moving Wall and I thought we should do this,” Brooks said. “I can’t think of anything this spectacular to come to Wellington, and I’ve been here since 1974. I want people to be moved and people to be excited. I want the wall here for every reason imaginable.”

The Moving Wall will be coming from Vietnam Combat Veterans Ltd. of White Pine, Michigan, which has been taking the structure to communities across the country since 1984. The traveling wall, which is made up of two sections each measuring 126.5 feet, is a half-size replica of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Wall on display in Washington, D.C. The wall will be erected at Union School Park on South Main Street where the former McCormick Middle School once stood.

The VFW, which will be aided in the project by Wellington’s American Legion, held its first organizational meeting Thursday.

“We are bringing the wall here to honor our Vietnam veterans and our veteran community. The VFW is not making this an individual effort,” Brant Smith, VFW Post 6941 quartermaster, said. “This project will not be listed as that of the VFW or the American Legion — we want this to be a community effort and all the recognition will go to our Vietnam veterans. Bringing the Moving Wall here is a way of saying thank you to them.”

Smith is asking community members and interested parties, near and far, to volunteer. From grounds keeping to policing the wall around the clock, volunteers are needed. Smith is hoping that not only will community members and county and statewide veterans organizations lend a hand but also area students and youth organizations.

“This will be an excellent opportunity for young people to learn more about Vietnam veterans and how they served our county,” he said.

Mayor Hans Schneider is on board with the project and will meet with Smith next week to discuss parking, electric and other needs.

“This is a great honor for Wellington to be able to host the wall. This will be a big week for the village and a very emotional week,” said Schneider, noting that he has not seen any other scheduled stops for the Moving Wall in Ohio.

The next planning meeting will be 6 p.m. April 25 at the VFW, 207 N. Main St. The public is encouraged to attend.

Contact Jodie Greene Spreng at 329-7155 or ctnews@chroniclet.com.


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