War memorial going to college

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GOLDSBORO – A replica of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial is coming to Wayne Community College.

Chapter 371 of the Air Force Sergeants Association at Seymour Johnson Air Force Base is sponsoring “The Moving Wall” as one of its events during POW/MIA activities week.

The display is open to the public Sept. 16-20.

The half-size duplicate will be installed on the lawn on the south side of the college. It will be visible from Wayne Memorial Drive and easily accessible from the college’s main entrance on Wayne Memorial Drive.

The wall will arrive at the campus at approximately 3 p.m. on Sept. 15 with a 150-motorcycle escort. The public is encouraged to bring American flags and line Wayne Memorial Drive from the (new) U.S. Highway 70 bypass to the college’s main entrance to greet the procession.

Once vehicles of the convoy are parked, there will be a brief welcome ceremony. One of the highlights of that event will be the awarding of a $500 scholarship and “Tail Flash” trophy to the WCC student named the winner of a POW/MIA week essay contest sponsored by the Air Force Sergeants Association chapter.

“The Moving Wall” is 250 feet long and bears the names of more than 58,000 servicemen and women who died in the Vietnam War or remain missing.

It is a project of Vietnam Combat Veterans Ltd. and has been touring the country since 1984.

The Moving Wall was conceived by Vietnam veteran John Devitt who attended the 1982 dedication of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial and vowed to share that experience with those who may not have the opportunity to go to Washington, D.C.

Devitt, Norris Shears, Gerry Haver and other Vietnam veteran volunteers built the original version of The Moving Wall. Two structures of The Moving Wall now travel the country from April through November, spending about a week at each site.

The association will also hold its POW/MIA Week Closing Ceremony at The Moving Wall. That is scheduled for 3 p.m. on Friday.

More information about The Moving Wall can be found at www.themovingwall.org.
The college previously hosted The Wall that Heals, which is a project of The Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund, in 2013.

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