The replica is 360 feet long, 8 feet high at the top, and contains the names of all of the more than 58,000 American Vietnam War veterans.
Decatur, Texas — Wise County Fairgrounds Decatur hosts the largest moving replica of the Vietnam War Memorial, so it’s a sacred place for the next five days.
The “The Cost of Freedom Tribute” display arrived in Decatur Tuesday afternoon accompanied by a convoy of veteran motorcycle groups. Veterans volunteers spent hours erecting the memorial wall in preparation for National Vietnam Veterans Memorial Day on March 29.
A ceremony on Wednesday at 2:00 pm kicks off the five-day stay in Wise County.
Vietnam Veteran Al Westfall, commander of the Wise County Veterans Group, has arranged to be honored here.
When he arrived in Vietnam on New Year’s Day 1971, he said, “I’m trying to stay alive with my boots on the ground.”
At 360 feet long and 8 feet high at the top, and containing all the names of over 58,000 American Vietnam War dead, it is the largest moving replica of the Vietnam Memorial in Washington, DC.
“I have classmates, old friends, even cousins,” said Westfall.
“So this is close and dear to you,” I asked him.
“It’s been years,” he said.
And when veteran volunteers helped put the replica together Wednesday afternoon, they stared at the name of an old friend.
“7th Engineer Battalion, 1st Marine Division, we lost 128 men in Vietnam. They’re all on that wall,” said Harold Stokes, a Marine and Vietnam veteran. He explained why he and dozens of Wise County veterans volunteered to install the display.
“To keep our fellow veterans in our hearts and minds,” he said.
And to keep their sacrifices carved in stone so that all generations will remember them.
After the dedication ceremony on Wednesday at 2:00 pm, the Cost of Freedom Tribute will be free for 24 hours until April 2nd.
https://www.wfaa.com/article/news/local/largest-traveling-replica-of-vietnam-war-memorial-arrives-in-decatur/287-2ac46627-8379-466d-9b96-afd98e5d8ff9 Moving Replica of Vietnam War Memorial Arrives in Wise County