ROCK SPRINGS – A traveling replica of the Vietnam Veterans’ Memorial, dubbed “The Moving Wall,” will be on exhibit at Western Wyoming Community College for four days beginning Thursday, June 25, at 12 p.m. Like the full-sized memorial in Washington, D.C., the Moving Wall bears the names of American servicemen who lost their lives in that Southeast Asian conflict from 1956 through 1975. The exhibit is sponsored by American Legion Post 24 and VFW Post 2321, and is hosted by Western.
The Moving Wall will be exhibited on Western’s front campus lawn near the main entrance on College Drive in Rock Springs.
“We are proud to serve as a host site for this moving and important exhibit,” said WWCC Community Relations Director David Tate. “It is an honor for Western to be able to partner with American Legion Post 24 and VFW Post 2321 to bring this extraordinary traveling memorial to Rock Springs. We encourage the community to take some time over the next few days to view and appreciate the Moving Wall, especially those who have not had the opportunity to see the Vietnam Veterans’ Memorial in Washington, D.C.”
The Moving Wall is a half-scale replica of the Vietnam Veterans’ Memorial, which was dedicated in Washington, D.C. in 1982. The idea for the portable version of that memorial came from Vietnam veterans John Devitt, Gerry Haver and Norris Shears, who were concerned that people from other parts of the country might never have the opportunity to travel to Washington to see the one there.
The Moving Wall is 253 feet long and is composed of 74 separate frames, 70 of which contain silk-screened panels with the names of those who gave their lives in service to the nation during the Vietnam conflict. Each of the two walls that make up the entire Moving Wall is 126.5 feet in length. The tallest panels have 137 lines of names and the shortest panels at each end have only one line.
Originally, each line contained five names, but with the addition of names some lines now contain six. At the vertex of the Wall, where the two walls join at an angle, the panels are six feet in height. These same panels on the Memorial in Washington are 10.2 feet high.
The Moving Wall was completed in 1984. It, like its full-scale inspiration in Washington, was funded through public donations and brought to fruition by dedicated volunteers, many of them Vietnam veterans.
The Moving Wall exhibit is presented at Western to encourage and promote honor, respect and remembrance, as well as education about those who served in the Vietnam War. Visitors to the Moving Wall exhibit at Western are asked to show the same reverence and respect for this memorial as they would at the Wall in Washington, D.C. Vendors are not permitted within 100 yards of the Moving Wall or its entrance.