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Vietnam vets tribute coming in mid June
Committee members Jerry Deloach, Harvey Lashley, Donald Singleton, Jan Bass, Bonnie Proctor and Kitty Franklin discuss the June arrival of The Moving Wall. - photo by Ross Blair

The Moving Wall, a traveling replica of the Vietnam Veteran’s tribute in Washington, D.C., is coming to Richmond Hill June 12-16. Organizers of the local event are banking on help from the community for the event.

Committee members have been meeting for the past four months in order to prepare for the event, with their most recent meeting Tuesday. Attendees included Vietnam veteran Donald Singleton, Chamber of Commerce Chairman Jerry Deloach, Chamber Director Kitty Franklin, Bonnie Proctor of the Chamber and city employees Jan Bass and Harvey Lashley.

"I saw the one in D.C., and I’ll tell you one thing – if it doesn’t emotionally touch you, there’s something wrong with you," Deloach said as he described one of the reasons he is helping with The Wall visit.

The biggest needs for the event are volunteers, money, soft drinks and food. Local Vietnam vets are needed as speakers.

Proctor stressed that this "is not a celebration or a festival – it’s a remembrance. There will not be any vendors or anything to buy or sell. It will be free to the public."

Bass said the preparations are right on schedule, and they have not hit any snags in pulling the event off. Some of the biggest in-kind donations the committee has received so far include lumber and labor to set up the wall by Ray Gastor, signs from Pocket Media, an RV to use from McKnight’s and hotel rooms from Best Western.

Proctor said county administrator and Vietnam vet Phil Jones has helped greatly in connecting the committee with resources as well as time and money donated toward the Richmond Hill Wall visit.

The replica includes every one of the more than 58,000 names of American soldiers who died in Vietnam.

Singleton, a Richmond Hill resident who helped bring the Wall to Savannah in June, said the monument evokes a very emotional scene where folks bring flowers, pictures and other mementos in honor of those whose names are engraved before them. It is over 250 feet long which is half the length of the one in D.C.

Singleton said every memento that is left at The Wall is packaged and sent to a museum at the tour’s home base in White Plains, Michigan.

Orientation for volunteers begins on June 2.

For more information on volunteering or donating, call the Chamber at 756-3444 or Bass at 756-6459.


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