Vietnam memorial could stop here - Coeur d'Alene Press: Local News

Vietnam memorial could stop here

Tentative plans call for visit in Hayden in mid-August

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Posted: Saturday, April 6, 2013 12:00 am

Kootenai County veterans groups are collaborating on bringing a Vietnam veterans memorial wall here this summer.

Although the local stop for The Wall that Heals is not a done deal, tentative plans have it stopping at Hayden City Park in the middle of August.

The wall - one of four traveling walls pertaining to the war - is 250 feet long and 6 feet tall. It has the names of more than 58,000 Vietnam War veterans who died.

The wall will be in the Seattle area in early August and in Whitefish, Mont., about 10 days later. Local vets are hoping to the have the wall stop here in between.

"It was a no brainer," said Bob Hunt, a Vietnam War veteran, Post Falls resident and the chapter adjutant for Disabled American Veterans, Chapter 9, among several groups collaborating with the Kootenai County Veterans Council on the project.

Mac McCormack of the Marine Corps League's Pappy Boyington Detachment and the veterans council said the Hayden site seems like a good fit for the wall. It will require a power source and space for vet groups to set up booths near the wall.

"The wall has to be lit 24 hours a day," McCormack said, adding that volunteers will also be needed for the project.

Hunt said, if the local stop is approved, it will be a great opportunity for vets, families and other residents to pay tribute to those who served.

"There's a lot of connections on the wall," Hunt said. "It makes me think of the kind of life I live and ask, 'Would that make them proud of me?'"

McCormack is a Korean War veteran, but he knows of several vets who served during the Vietnam War.

"Some stayed in and made a career of it, so I'll be looking for some names," he said.

Hunt said it will cost about $5,000 to bring the wall here to pay for the traveling crew, insurance, permits and other costs. Veterans groups are closing in on securing the $2,700 in earnest money required, but more funds will be needed.

A benefit account is in the process of being set up at Community 1st Bank branches.

"If a lot of us donate small amounts, it will add up quickly and not be a big drain on any one individual," Hunt said.

The wall has never been in the greater Coeur d'Alene area, veterans say, and police have been contacted to escort it in.

All donations made at the wall will go toward the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund's effort to build a museum at the permanent wall in Washington, D.C.

The last U.S. combat troops left Vietnam 40 years ago in March.

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  • NWCitizen posted at 8:36 pm on Sun, Apr 7, 2013.

    NWCitizen Posts: 24

    Don't let the Fab 4 know it’s here. They might chop it up for kindling to get the bonfire going with Freedom Tree logs

  • boohoo2U posted at 10:56 pm on Sat, Apr 6, 2013.

    boohoo2U Posts: 406

    the stop is equivalent to a $5,000 pee break that shows no respect for the survivors of that era.
    How dare anyone demand compensation beyond that which the bureaucracy has allotted.
    still no homecoming for the hundreds of thousands skrd-up by this nation's insanity.

  • BoxcarBill posted at 9:37 am on Sat, Apr 6, 2013.

    BoxcarBill Posts: 1074

    Vietnam... NOTHING has changed has it?

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