By Aaron Keebaugh
For three days this coming spring, the Beachmont VFW will host a special memorial. The Vietnam Memorial Wall will grace the post from June 13 - 16, 2013 and provide an opportunity for Revere residents to experience one of the country’s most moving monuments to war veterans.
After viewing the Vietnam Veterans Memorial at its dedication ceremony in Washington DC in 1982, John Devitt, a Vietnam Veteran from Stockton, California, created a transportable version of the memorial using his own money so that people who could not travel to the nation’s capital would have an opportunity to experience the wall, or at least a version of it, first hand.
Devitt’s version of the memorial is a 3/5 replica of the original. Still an impressive size, the wall spans nearly 300 feet from one end to the other.
The Moving Wall, as it became known, made its first display in Tyler, Texas in 1984. Over the next half decade, demand for the mobile memorial was so great that the Vietnam Combat Veterans built two additional replicas.
By 2006, the Moving Wall had visited over 1000 different sites around the country, drawing thousands of visitors in each town and city.
But bringing the memorial to Revere requires $5000.
Last Thursday evening, city officials and interested residents met at the Beachmont VFW to begin brainstorming for fundraising opportunities to cover the cost. Preliminary plans include a 50-50 and raffle to help defray the cost of the memorial, according to a VFW flyer.
When the wall comes next June it will stand in display in the field behind the Beachmont VFW post, Veterans’ Agent Nicholas Bua said in a phone call Wednesday.
The next meeting will be held on November 14 at the Beachmont VFW.