CHICAGO (CBS) – A half-size replica of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington, D.C. arrived Thursday in the west suburbs, after a year of planning.
The Vietnam Moving Wall, a memorial honoring thousands of service people who died during the Vietnam War, will be on display in Prairie Point Park, located at Wooley and Plainfield Road, in Oswego from Thursday, June 29 to Monday, July 3. WBBM’s Andy Dahn reports.
The opening day on Thursday marked a special day for families and friends of veterans. The morning began with a procession of hundreds of motorcycled, Oswego police and fire vehicles escorting the wall to the park. Veterans and residents of Oswego lined the route as the memorial quietly moved into Prairie Point Park.
Once it arrived, volunteers with names of family and friends on the wall, helped put it together.
Co-Chair of the Vietnam Moving Wall, Herschel Luckenbill fought back tears as he watched family and friends of those who died in the Vietnam War assemble the Moving Wall. He marveled at how many young people had gathered for the memorial.
“There’s 58,315 names on that wall and the main thing that the kids get out of this is those people died for their freedom, where that they have things today that they probably would not have it was not for this war,” Luckenbill said.
Then it was Luckenbill’s turn to set a panel in the wall – the panel contained the names of two of his shipmates who died in 1966.
“I just set panel 13E. Panel 13E is two shipmates of mine who died December 23, 1966. And when we bring the wall – this is the second time I’ve has the honor of bringing the wall to Illinois,” he said.
Luckenbill said the entire village of Oswego has stepped up and he is hopeful that all ages and backgrounds come see the wall for themselves.
The Vietnam Moving Wall made an appearance in Aurora in 2013. The memorial will be open to the public and can be viewed in Oswego until July 3.