Vietnam Traveling Memorial Wall to visit Bainbridge in November

Published 2:05 pm Tuesday, September 26, 2023

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Members of the community, as well as the local government, met on Friday morning to discuss the coming arrival of the Vietnam Traveling Memorial Wall. Sponsored by the Decatur County Historical and Genealogical Society (DCH&GS), the wall is a 3/5 scale duplicate of the Vietnam Memorial found in Washington D.C. With angled sides that slope upwards, the wall stands six feet tall at the highest point and stretches roughly 300 feet long.

With its impressive length, the wall will be set up at the Earle May Boat Basin, where it will stay from November 2-6. According to DCH&GS President Rosalyn Palmer, the set-up for the wall is expected to take up to five hours, and roughly 20 volunteers will also be needed to aid the set-up. Additionally, rather than using the basin’s performing arts center as the main stage, Palmer stated that a separate stage will be set up for the event.

The opening ceremony will be set for that Thursday afternoon, complete with BHS AFJROTC present, and a military fly-over scheduled to conclude the ceremony. Some local history classes will also visit on a field trip on Friday.

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One aspect of the Wall, is that it isn’t uncommon for visiting relatives to leave flowers, photos, or other commemorative items at the wall. Palmer explained that these will all be collected, placed into a vault and buried at the boat basin, complete with a stone marker denoting its location.

Volunteers are also needed to man a reference book provided by the Wall, a book that tells where on the wall individuals’ names are marked.

Palmer and attendees discussed logistics and issues at the meeting, including a bass tournament also scheduled for that weekend, as well as the logistics of having law enforcement present at the scene 24/7.

The event is free to attend, though donations will be accepted; these donations are not for the DCH&GS, but will be given to veterans groups, including the VFW.

For more information on the Wall or potentially volunteering, contact the Historical Society at 229-246-2124.