American Legion bringing Vietnam War memorial to Fort Myers
A testament to service members who made the ultimate sacrifice is coming to JetBlue Park. The Vietnam Traveling Memorial Wall will be on display Sept. 7-8 from 9 a.m.-3 p.m. each day, courtesy of the Rabe O. Wilkison American Legion Post 38 and the Colonial Charitable Foundation.
The mobile wall replicates the iconic black granite memorial in Washington, D.C. at three-fifths its size. Etched into the traveling monument are more than 58,000 names of those who gave their lives or remain missing.
“Many who lost loved ones in Vietnam have a hard time getting to Washington, but the traveling wall allows them to easily connect with this stirring reminder of their valor,” Post 38 Cmdr. Kevin Boyd said. “It’s an opportunity for everyone to pay respects, to learn our history, and to honor these courageous men and women who gave their lives for our country.”
Those in attendance will be able to touch the wall and rub pencil over paper where their loved ones are listed, just as many do to preserve a memento of the wall in Washington. An area for solemn reflection will be set up nearby.
Money from the sale of food and beer at the event will go toward local charities that promote education, fight hunger and support veterans. Sponsorship opportunities are available by contacting George Tice at firstname.lastname@example.org or 239-738-0601, or Jim Squadrito at 401-261-9096 or email@example.com.
The wall will be on display 100 years to the week that Post 38 was founded, which happened just months after the first American Legion post was established in Washington. Now the largest veterans service organization in the U.S., the American Legion has events planned throughout the country this year to mark its centennial.