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FM Welcomes the Vietnam Traveling Memorial Wall in 2016

Posted: November 4, 2015 — Christie Crawford, Moira Samek, Dan Towne

We, at Fulton-Montgomery County Community College, are proud and excited to announce we have been selected to showcase the Vietnam Traveling Memorial Wall!  From September 8 – September 12, 2016, the Wall, which is a three-fifth scale of the Vietnam Memorial in Washington, D.C., standing six feet tall at the center and covering almost 300 feet from end to end, will be displayed on our campus.

This Traveling Memorial stands as a reminder of the great sacrifices made during the Vietnam War. It was made for the purpose of helping heal and rekindle friendships, allowing people the opportunity to visit loved ones in their home town who otherwise may not be able to make the trip to D.C.

There are 58,272 names listed on the wall, exactly as it is in Washington, D.C. The Wall lists only those Veterans in the U.S. Military who served in the designated war zone. While this is an event being hosted by FM, it will very much be a community and regional event; we are expecting thousands of visitors from hundreds of miles away.  Set-up of the wall takes approximately 5-6 hours as the Wall arrives in several trailers, with a motorcade escort.  It is said to be an emotional experience to see the Wall arrive by motorcade and to be set-up with care and respect by dozens of volunteers.

The FM Veteran Club has agreed to take on a large part of the responsibility of fundraising for the expenses, as well as providing volunteers for coordinating the event and volunteering over the four-day visit next fall semester, 2016.  FM’s Veteran Club has been active since the fall of 2011.  The approximate cost to host this event is likely to exceed $10,000.  Corporate, non-profit, and individual donations will help defray costs.  To date, the Veteran Club has received nearly $5,000 in donations from various sources.

The Vietnam Traveling Memorial Wall is part of Vietnam and All Veterans of Brevard (VVB), located in Brevard County Florida.  They are a 501(c)(3) organization that was formed and incorporated in December of 1985. The VVB is a grass roots, community-based organization.

Gary Thompson, FM student Veteran and Senator of the FM Veteran Club, has been active in spreading the word and helping to raise funds since the start of this semester.  He says: “To help bring the Vietnam Traveling Memorial Wall to FM is special in so many ways. Those men gave the ultimate sacrifice so that others like us could one day enjoy the freedom of opportunity. No one wants to be forgotten, and having something you can see, touch, and reflect on keeps the memories of a generation of Americans that fought an unpopular conflict alive. Just writing these few words doesn’t describe the gratitude and love we have for our fallen military in arms. I ask that everyone take time and imagine, if you can, to look at the wall and see the very souls of those men looking back at you. Our nation is free and life for us is what we make of it. To honor them we should strive to be all we can be and help our fellow Americans be all they can be.”

For more information on how local organizations or individuals can get involved, contact Christie Crawford, Academic Advisor, at 518-736-FMCC (3622), ext. 8163, or at Christie.Crawford@fmcc.edu.

Christie Crawford is an Academic Advisor, Moira Samek is Financial Aid Advisor, and Dan Towne (Electronic Services Librarian) is the Veteran Club Advisor.

 

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