American Legion Post 109 in Hartwell has begun the process to bring The Vietnam Traveling Memorial Wall to Hartwell, but volunteers and donations will be needed to make the experience the best it can be, organizers say.
The wall is an initiative of the Vietnam and All Veterans of Brevard in Brevard County, Fla., and is a 3/5-sized replica of the Vietnam Memorial Wall in Washington, D.C. The traveling wall was unveiled in 2005 and since has been taken around the country to provide people an opportunity to see the memorial that features the namews of service people who perished as a result of the conflict. The traveling wall is nearly 300 feet long from end to end and stands six-feet tall at its center.
Jason Ford, who is director of economic and community development for the city of Hartwell and an American Legion Post 109 member, said the post has requested the wall stop to Hartwell and is only waiting on the paper work to come back confirming it will come. Once that happens, the wall is set to be in Hartwell from Sept. 2, 2021, to Sept. 6, 2021. Cateechee has said it will host the wall, Ford said.
Ford said the idea is to make visiting the wall in Hartwell a free experience, which is why volunteers and donations are needed. He said it costs between $5,500 and $6,500 to bring the wall to town, but more money will be necessary to make this an event that all can enjoy free of charge. Any extra money raised beyond what is needed to make this a free event will be donated back to Vietnam veteran groups, Ford said.
“We will need lots of volunteers, some in-kind donations, and of course some donations and sponsors,” Ford said.
He saw the wall in Marietta when it stopped there recently and said it was a moving experience and is a great opportunity for Hartwell to draw visitors from the region and for education.
“This would be great for field trips for school children to learn about our country’s history,” Ford said.
Anyone interested in volunteering or donating to bringing the wall to Hartwell should contact Ford at 706-376-4756 or at email@example.com.