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Editorial: The Traveling Vietnam Memorial Wall Is Here

On Wednesday afternoon, the Traveling Vietnam Memorial Wall arrived at Mitchel Athletic Complex from being on display in Mexico, NY, a town north of Syracuse, and was escorted to Eisenhower Park in East Meadow by veterans, military and county officials, builders, and dozens of motorcycle riders.  

The Traveling Vietnam Memorial Wall is the largest traveling replica of the Vietnam Memorial Wall and is the centerpiece of the American Veterans Traveling Tribute’s (AVTT) “Cost of Freedom” tribute program.

The wall, a replica of the memorial in Washington, will be at Eisenhower Park through Aug. 5. The names of 58,195 service members killed in the Vietnam War are inscribed; it is an 80 percent scale of the original.

The traveling memorial is a way to bring awareness to communities, especially those with large veteran populations, such as Long Island, which possibly has one of the highest concentrations of veteran populations across the United States. Memorial services raise awareness, promote communication about ongoing veterans’ issues, and benefit causes which help local veterans in need.

On Saturday, Aug. 4 the county will host Brick26, a high energy, fast paced strength and endurance event to benefit veterans in need throughout Nassau County. The competition will begin at 8 a.m. in Eisenhower Park for registered participants. The event is open to the public spectators. More information about Brick26 can be found at www.brick26.org/ Additionally, specially inscribed bricks for the event can be purchased through donation on the website.

Later on Saturday, at 6:45 p.m, the county will hold a special “Tribute to Veterans” ceremony and concert at the Harry Chapin Lakeside Theatre, also near parking field six.

On Sunday, Aug. 5, the closing ceremony will be held for the Traveling Vietnam War Memorial Wall at 3 p.m. for the public.

The wall was constructed Wednesday night. On Thursday, Aug. 2 a Purple Heart ceremony was held at the park’s dedicated veterans’ memorial site and later in the evening, an opening ceremony for the Vietnam Wall was held. Public viewing will continue through Sunday, Aug. 5.

For more information about the series of veterans’ events this week, call Nassau County Veterans Services at (516) 572-6560.                        

—CH