Traveling memorial to make north Mississippi appearance

By Lena Mitchell/NEMS Daily Journal

CORINTH – North Mississippi will host a five-day appearance of The Vietnam Traveling Memorial Wall in Corinth Sept. 2-6.
Until then, the American Legion, VFW and Corinth Elks Lodge will work to raise $15,000 to fund the project, said spokesman Bobby McDaniel.
“They’ll bring the Wall and set it up on Sept. 1, which will take four to six hours,” McDaniel said. “Once we open it up to the public, people can come 24 hours a day until it closes on Sept. 6.”
Plans are to have a formal opening ceremony on Sept. 3, McDaniel said, featuring a Congressional Medal of Honor recipient. A candlelight memorial service is also in the works, but no specific date has been set.
The Traveling Memorial scheduled to visit Corinth is one of three scale models displayed in different cities around the country throughout the year. The three-fifths scale model is a project of the nonprofit Vietnam and All Veterans of Brevard County (Fla.), and measures 6 feet tall at the center and about 300 feet end-to-end.
“It’s roughly the size of a football field to set up,” McDaniel said.
It will be displayed at North Corinth Baptist Church, which has a large pavilion with electricity and water and parking for visitors.
Wall manager Greg Welsh, who will bring the Wall to Jackson at the end of May for the fourth consecutive year, said the Wall usually attracts 5,000 to 20,000 visitors in each location, depending on how long it stays and the surrounding area.
“The Wall is a good thing for Vietnam veterans because of the way they were treated when they got home,” said McDaniel, himself a veteran, but not of Vietnam. “It’s kind of a healing process for them.”
This Ocala, Fla.-based Wall already is scheduled for about a dozen locations through the end of 2010, about the usual number of engagements they accept each year, Welsh said.
“I would encourage everybody to come out and see it, especially if they’ve never had a chance to go to Washington and see the actual memorial – to see the cost of lives given up for the Vietnam War,” Welsh said.

Contact Lena Mitchell at (662) 287-9822 or lena.mitchell@djournal.com.