by Winnie Blackwood
The Vietnam Traveling Memorial Wall, a replica of the Vietnam Memorial in Washington, D.C, will make an appearance at FM’s campus from Sept. 9-11, 2016; preparations are well underway.
FM’s Veteran’s Club and Adviser Daniel Towne will host and raise the necessary funds for the event.
Towne’s goal is to raise around $10,000, to cover the cost of The Vietnam Traveling Wall, which will cost around $7,500 The rest will be donated to local veteran organizations after the event.
The Student Senate Association has made a donation, along with various other clubs and the Student Activities Board. Towne added the club received “sizable donations” from current and former FM staff members.
Partnering with outside organizations, events will be held in the spring in order to continue raising the necessary funds.
Members of the public are lending a helping hand to the club, too. Towne added that these donations are greatly appreciated.
Volunteer opportunities are available for those interested, such as helping set up the wall on Sept. 8, which will take a minimum of 20 people and three to five hours.
The club is thinking about how the wall will be presented over it’s stay.
According to a packet given out by Towne, there are precise details that must be met.
The replica from Vietnam and All Veterans Brevard, a nonprofit organization in Florida, stands six-feet-tall and 30-feet-wide, and is only three-fifths of the size of the real Vietnam Memorial. FM’s Buildings and Grounds has three spots on campus in mind for its stay.
Towne is a veteran himself, serving in the army from 1992-1996. He also has a family member who served during the Vietnam War. For these reasons, he said this is “a meaningful project” to him.
According to The Vietnam Traveling Memorial Wall’s official website, as of 2011, 58,272 names of the deceased make up the wall. Towne said 14 of those names are from Fulton County, and 23 others from Montgomery County.
The wall, according to Towne, has become a remembrance of all lives involved in the Vietnam War.
“I think first and foremost, Vietnam veterans are getting older, and we’re in between more time now,” he remarked.
He added “,…[I]t’s a piece of American history instead of having to go see it, with say the Gettysburg battlefield, this piece of history will come to our region for us.”
The experience is open to the community, along with FM’s students, with no cost to visitors.
For those interested in donating or volunteering, contact Towne at firstname.lastname@example.org.