Vietnam Traveling Memorial Wall exhibit opens Friday

By Lena Mitchell / NEMS Daily Journal Corinth Bureau

CORINTH – The traveling exhibit to honor Vietnam veterans begins visitations Friday with an opening ceremony at 9:30 a.m.
The Vietnam Traveling Memorial Wall is free and open to the public and will be accessible 24 hours a day through noon Monday, Sept. 6.
North Corinth Baptist Church, located off Mississippi Highway 45 at the Highway 2 exit, has made its grounds available to set up the exhibit.
“The Wall will arrive in Corinth on Wednesday and receive a motorcycle escort from the welcome center to the site,” said Bill Parker, a Vietnam veteran and staff member at the Alcorn County Veterans Service Office. The Wall manager will look over the site to decide logistics, then set up the wall on Thursday.
Visitors are able to see the wall from a wide radius, Wall manager Greg Welsh said in an earlier interview, and it usually receives anywhere from 5,000 to 20,000 visitors at the various locations.
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, roughly the size of a football field.
Local veterans and many other volunteers have been working since the first of the year to raise the $15,000 that it costs to bring the exhibit.
“We’ve had an outpouring of support, both monetarily and physically,” Parker said, “and it’s still continuing. We owe a lot of thanks to non-veterans and the public, as well as to veterans, for all they have done.”
Parker served two tours in Vietnam – in 1966, 1967 and 1968 – and has never traveled to Washington to see the original Wall, although he saw a replica about 20 years ago when it was displayed in West Middleton, Tenn.
“This will be special for me,” he said. “I have a lot of brothers to remember.”
Contact Lena Mitchell at (662) 287-9822 or lena.mitchell@djournal.com.