WELLINGTON — A rare opportunity to honor those who lost their lives in the Vietnam War is coming to the village.
The Vietnam Veterans Memorial Moving Wall will open to the public Thursday and remain in place at Union School Park, 201 S. Main St., through Monday.
The Moving Wall is a half-size replica of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Wall in Washington, D.C. It is made of two sections each measuring 126.5 feet long and 7 feet tall. The Moving Wall has toured the county for more than 30 years, according to its website.
An opening ceremony will be 10 a.m. Thursday, and the wall will remain open 24 hours a day until the closing ceremony at 1 p.m. Monday. The wall will have lighting around it at night and have a hospitality tent that gives information and bottled water throughout the day. The wall also will have a live reading of the names on the wall every day at 6 p.m.
The idea to bring the Moving Wall to Wellington came from Fran Brooks, president of the Wellington Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 6941 Auxiliary.
Brant Smith, quartermaster of the Wellington VFW, said bringing the Moving Wall to Wellington is a perfect way to honor veterans from the area. Smith said all Vietnam veterans are invited to attend the event to receive a pin and certificate for their service at 5 p.m. Saturday.
“It’s really a great thing because it’s going to recognize their service to the country,” he said.
Smith said Wellington also is trying something different from the other places the wall has visited with plans to conduct video interviews of Vietnam veterans about their service. If there are enough interviews, Smith said it could lead to a documentary about local Vietnam veterans.
The event also is receiving assistance from the Wellington American Legion Post 8, the Ohio Veterans Fraternal Charitable Coalition, Huntington AMVETS Post 162, Amherst American Legion Post 118 and North Olmsted VFW Post 7647.
The event will have a closing ceremony with the reading of the names and the dismantling of the Moving Wall at 4 p.m.
Parking will be available behind the Village Police Department, 117 Willard Memorial Square, as well as in the parking lot on Prospect Street.
For more information about the wall, visit www.themovingwall.org. For more information about the event, call the Wellington VFW at (440) 647-3035.