By Lena Mitchell/NEMS Daily Journal
CORINTH – James L. Webb stepped up to the location table immediately after the ceremony to place wreaths at the Vietnam Traveling Memorial Wall in Corinth on Friday to ask where on the wall to find the name of his uncle, John E. Milender of Counce.
Panel 4E. Row 103.
Webb and his wife Phyllis, with their grandchildren, John and Ella Mask of Corinth, had come to pay tribute to the service Milender gave and the sacrifice of his life.
“We came last year when they were taking it down,” Webb said. Milender had been married to his father’s sister, Louise, who lives in Savannah, Tenn.
Webb was a 15-year-old teenager when Milender, then 34, died in South Vietnam on Jan. 28, 1966. The Army parachutist had been in Vietnam only six months when he was killed by small arms fire during ground fighting.
John and Ella made a rubbing of Milender’s name in remembrance of this day.
Like Webb, dozens of families, individuals, veterans and officials were at the opening ceremony for the Vietnam Traveling Memorial Wall to pay homage to the sacrifice of those listed on the Wall.
The program included patriotic music by the Mid-South Navy Band from Millington, Tenn., Vietnam War re-enactor “Bad Bob” Couch, brief remarks from Cmdr. James Chapman, state commander of the VFW, and bearing of flag to the Wall by the U.S. Air Force Honor Guard.
The Wall was set up and opened to visitors Thursday afternoon and will be available 24 hours a day with security on site until 8 a.m. Monday. It is located on the grounds of North Corinth Baptist Church at the Highway 2 exit of Highway 45 North.
The exhibit was last in Corinth September 2011, and an estimated 11,000 people visited.