Vietnam Traveling Memorial Wall makes stop in Jennings, leaving Monday

JENNINGS, LA (KPLC) - The Vietnam Traveling Memorial Wall is a mobile replica of the Vietnam Memorial Wall in Washington, D.C. The memorial visited Jennings, Louisiana from October 12th through October 16th.

The Director of Zigler Art Museum is responsible for contacting the wall organizers and bringing the wall to the area.

Greg Welsh is the Wall Manager for the Memorial. Welsh said, "The Vietnam And All Veterans of Brevard came together to start building a scaled down version of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Wall in D.C." They started building the wall in 2005 and ended construction in April 2006.

"There are 58,227 names on the wall", said Welsh. The names on the traveling wall will reflect those added up until 2005. There are plans to add more names as funding continues. (In Washington, D.C., officials with the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Wall add names each year on Memorial Day.)

There are 70 panels on each side (East and West) with Veteran's names.

Welsh said that for the 5th time in six years, they were able to set the wall up properly in its East and West direction. This is important for those looking for particular markers to the names of loved ones. And an East to West direction is accurately how the original memorial is situated in Washington, D.C.

To set up the wall, a track goes down, pieces fit together and then it is bolted - leaving it on display for public viewing. Organizers say the traveling wall schedule typically follows a pattern of arrival on Wednesday; set-up on Thursday; Friday through Sunday normal viewing; and then Monday the memorial is taken down.

The wall will be dismantled and put back in its trailer Monday, October 17th. Welsh said the wall will be headed back to Florida. For the remainder of the year, the mall's schedule includes a visit to Fort Meade, Florida then Crosby, Texas and finally Tempe, Arizona. The memorial will be in Tempe, Arizona on Veteran's Day 2011.

If those wanting to book the Vietnam Traveling Memorial Wall for 2012, they are out of luck. Organizers are booked solid for 2012 and are very close to being booked for 2013. Expect the next visit to Louisiana to be in 2012 on Veteran's Day at the Chennault Air Museum in Monroe, Louisiana.

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