The planning was precise and required the efforts of hundreds of volunteers to host The Moving Wall Vietnam Veterans Memorial at the Knox Museum in Thomaston, Maine over the Memorial Day Weekend.
Thousands of visitors came to pay their respects at the Wall, and take part in recognition ceremonies throughout its 5-day visit.
There are two structures of The Moving Wall, inspired by the dedication of the Washington, DC Vietnam Veterans Memorial, that travel the USA from April to November.
"We found out in September of last year that The Moving Wall would be with us on Memorial Day, and we went into action," explains Executive Director of the Knox Museum, Tobin Malone.
"We put together a committee of thirty-five volunteers who met every other week. We knew with 14 acres we had enough space, and a military connection with Montpelier, the home of General Henry Knox of the American Revolution, the committee just went to work."
The citizens mobilized with the military community and created a warm, welcoming, and educational venue for The Moving Wall exhibit. The effort required close to one hundred volunteers per day to keep things running smoothly according to Malone.
The connections were indeed powerful and healing.
"We had one Vietnam veteran come to the wall looking for a buddy of his he thought he had lost in the war," recalls Malone. "He was overcome when he couldn't find his buddy's name. One of our volunteers brought him to the Army tent to console him and started asking him questions about his buddy. Through quite a process, and using her own cell phone, that volunteer found that man and got him on the phone! After fifty years, a concerned and compassionate volunteer re-connected this man right here at Knox Museum. It doesn't get any better than that!"
Wreaths Across America extends our sincere appreciation to the Knox Museum, The Wall Committee and the hundreds of volunteers who made such healing connections happen for our military heroes.