The Moving Wall, a half-size replica of the Vietnam War Memorial in Washington, D.C., has already attracted a crowd, and its opening ceremony isn’t scheduled until 10 a.m. today.
The Wall opened for viewing Thursday at Eastlawn Memorial Park, and visitors from throughout the area arrived to look up names — and reflect.
“We brought Jaydon because we wanted him to see it, and didn’t know when it might be back here again,” Jamie Brandon, the mother of the boy who is almost 3, said. She came with her sister, Kimberly Laird.
“We came back because we didn’t find the name of someone we looked for the last time it was here,” Alene Drinkard said. She was there with her husband, Jerry Drinkard, a veteran of World War II.
She said when they did locate a name of someone they were looking for when the wall was here in 1999, the man’s brother came up behind them.
The Moving Wall arrived from San Angelo Wednesday afternoon, and volunteers put in long hours overnight to prepare it for viewing Thursday.
Three ceremonies are scheduled during The Moving Wall’s exhibit in Brown County, according to Billy Murphey, Brown County veterans service officer and a member of the Pecan Valley Detachment of the Marine Corps League. Today’s opening ceremony at 10 a.m. will be the first one, and it will be followed by a luncheon on the site for members of the Brownwood Area Chamber of Commerce who have made reservations.
A prisoner-of-war/missing-in-action program will be held at 10 a.m. Saturday led by VFW Post 3278, and a candlelight vigil is planned for 7 p.m. Sunday.
The viewing will cease at 4 p.m. Monday.
Monica Harvey of Stapleton, Neb., known to thousands of Vietnam veterans as “Little Sis,” and president of the Northeast Veterans of Foreign Wars Memorial Highway Association, is on hand to greet Vietnam War veterans. She will also participate in the opening ceremony.
Known to Vietnam veterans as “Little Sis,” Harvey has been at 27 displays of The Moving Wall in less than three years.